Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) Wednesday called for congressional action on a spectrum auction bill. She did not say it would have to be on her proposed auction bill, but included that among the possible choices.
"On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a fitting tribute to our first responders, who fought so bravely to save lives and lost their own, is to provide them with a nationwide, interoperable broadband communications network. Congress should act decisively and quickly to address the unacceptable situation which remains in place a decade since the attack on our country," Eshoo said in a statement.
Her bill, like that of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), would allocate the D block of spectrum for that interoperable network, and fund its creation and maintentance through proceeds from the auction of broadast spectrum.
Rockefeller had also been pushing for action before the tenth anniversary. A version of the legislation was attached to the debt ceiling bill but was removed.
Broadcasters are concerned that the auction legislation does not contain enough explicit protections for the coverage area and signal integrity of broadcasters who opt to remain in the business rather than selling out to wireless interests.