The president Friday (Nov. 6) signed into law the bill extending the public safety grant program that uses funds from the auction of reclaimed TV station spectrum.
The program will now run an extra two years--through 2012--to allow states and localities more time to establish projects to train and equip first responders with interoperable emergency communications.
The lack of such communication has been cited as a contributing factor in the death of firefighters on 9/11.
"The grant program extension is important public safety communications legislation, and I am thrilled to see it has been signed by the president," said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), who sponsored the bill.
The program is funded with $1 billion worth of the proceeds from the almost $20 billion collected in the auction of 700 mhz TV spectrum reclaimed from the DTV transition.
The Department of Commerce inspector general concluded that the initial time frame did not allow states to take "full advantage" of the funds. The initial deadline was December 2010.