Harman Bill Would Fund Public-Safety Network

California Democrat Rep. Introduces Bill to Fund Administrative Costs of National Interoperable Public-Safety Network for First Responders

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would fund administrative costs of a national interoperable public-safety network for first responders.

That move came on the same day the Federal Communications Commission put out a new order calling for suggestions on how to reauction the D block of spectrum, a package of frequencies that, when paired with spectrum already set aside for emergency communication, would be large enough to accommodate such a network and that itself has been set aside for that purpose.

During the FCC meeting, commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein both said the government should pony up more money for the network.

Harman said her bill was the "best chance" to solve the interoperability problem. It would authorize Congress to fund the administration and management of the public-safety network, rather than making first responders come up with the money to manage it.

Harmon's bill would authorize a "modest" $4 million to help cover expenses.