House Bill Would Fund Public Safety Net

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The House Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing Thursday June 17 on the draft of a bill to fund and maintain a national interoperable public safety broadband network.
The Federal Communications Commission has made the creation of that network one of the priorities of its national broadband plan.
The commission, under then-chairman Kevin Martin, attempted to create that network via a public-private partnership, but was unable to attract a bidder willing to put up the minimum bid for the so-called D-block in the 700 mHz auction.
In the broadband plan, the agency proposed public funding for the network, which it has estimated could cost between $12 billion and $16 billion over the next decade, recomending a tax "minimal public safety fee" on all broadband users."