Council seeks comments on public safety network specs

Public safety officials and industry experts have until Friday to submit comments to an umbrella group of organizations developing specifications for the new public safety broadband network to be created by the Federal Communications Commission.

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, representing more than a dozen public safety organizations, issued a notice today asking for input by 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, on the requirements for the public safety broadband network. The council said its own deadline for submitting the statement of requirements is five days later.

The FCC intends to establish the new broadband network for public safety as part of the transition to digital TV. In January 2008, the commission will auction spectrum in the 700 MHz band currently used by TV broadcast stations. A portion of the 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for first responders, and an adjacent portion will be allocated for the public safety broadband network.

"Due to the FCC's mid-January regulatory deadline for the pending auctions, we need to quickly provide these requirements to prospective bidders and require a final public safety review/vetting in very short order," the telecommunications council said.

The proposed 700 MHz broadband statement of requirements, along with a form for comment, are available for review at http://www.npstc.org. The statement is being put together by the council's broadband working group, which is part of the technology committee.

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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