Subcommittee looks at interoperable safety network


Greg Walden (R-OR) has already had his House Communications Subcommittee take an initial look at the possibility of television spectrum auctions. Now he has a look at the creation of a communications network for first responders that has been on the congressional and first responder wish list since 9/11/01. In the Senate, the interoperable web has been tentatively tied to voluntary spectrum auctions.

The session is on the schedule for Wednesday 5/25/11, and will kick off at 10:30AM.

According to Hillicon Valley, House Republicans are not among those who favor the current thread on the topic, which is to create a public network. They are more interested in auctioning spectrum that will be made available for such a network via a public/private collaboration.

Otherwise, the fiscal hawks in the House Republican wing fear a $3B addition to the deficit.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has proposed using the proceeds from voluntary auctions in the television space to fund a nationwide interoperable network.

The House Subcommittee witnesses do not include any broadcasters. Here’s who is on the
schedule to testify:

* Jeffrey D. Johnson, Chief Executive, Western Fire Chiefs Association

* Chris Imlay, General Counsel, American Radio Relay League

* Joe Hanna, President, Directions

* Dr. Dennis Martinez, Chief Technology Officer, Harris RF Communications Division

* Joseph R. Hanley, Vice President, Technology, Planning and Service, Telephone and Data Systems