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National Broadband (Communications) Plan: Issues for Public Safety - Panel Discussion at the 2011 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2011
2 pages
This transcript and audio from the 2011 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Conference cover panel presentations on the Obama administration's plan for meeting the 21st century communication needs of public safety partners.
These partners include first responders (law-enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS) and secondary responders, e.g., utility companies, transit operators, and others who need to communicate with one another in times of crisis. The Obama administration's development of the broadband plan began when the White House brought together representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, and certain White House personnel. They were charged with developing a plan for public safety broadband communications. The plan was announced to the public first in the President's State of the Union address in January of 2010 and in more detailed form in January 2011. Among the plan's key features are financial support for the building of a public safety broadband network; the dedication of the D-block (a piece of spectrum in the 700 megahertz area) for use by public-safety agencies; and the promotion of innovation through research and development. A fund has been established (Wireless Innovation Fund) through the auctioning of certain swaths of spectrum. This fund will be used for the building of the network and to support research and development.

Date Published: June 1, 2011