Bill gives first responders more spectrum

First responders would have more radio spectrum in the 700 megahertz band under legislation approved late last month by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee as part of the fiscal 2006 budget resolution. The spectrum would be available starting April 7, 2009.

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill call for auctioning off some of the radio spectrum relinquished by broadcasters. Some of that revenue would pay for upgrades to first-responders' equipment.

The transition for the 700 MHz radio spectrum is considered a critical component in improving communications between police, fire and other emergency agencies.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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