A nationwide, interoperable public safety network should be exactly that – nationwide. All first responders, whether urban, suburban or rural, need access to the same lifesaving broadband communications capabilities to respond to disasters and keep our citizens safe.
The cost savings from a public auction of the D Block will help ensure that the financial burden of building the network will not be shifted to already struggling state and local municipalities, resulting in a network of haves and have-nots, where incumbent providers serve the largest and most profitable markets at the expense of smaller first responders in underserved rural markets.
Small town and rural America deserve the same broadband communications as those who live in major metropolitan areas. However, this might not become a reality if the D Block is reallocated exclusively to public safety without any means to build a network. Only a public auction will provide the resources necessary to build this network, bringing with it enhanced innovation, lower prices and additional capacity. Without this new approach, rural public safety and first responders will continue to take a back seat to their urban counterparts.
Connect Public Safety Now, of which RTG is a member, represents a broad-based group of stakeholders working to ensure the construction of a reliable and cost-effective interoperable network for our nation’s first responders and its citizens. Connect Public Safety Now is a call for the FCC, the White House and Congress to stand up for the public safety community, and our nation’s citizens, and build this network. We will not get another chance. For more information about Connect Public Safety Now, please visit: www.connectpublicsafetynow.org