Add Senator Jay Rockefeller (D- W.Va.) to those using the
death of 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden as a teaching moment about the
need for action on an interoperable public safety network.
Echoing public safety officials,
Rockefeller Monday (May 2) put in a plug for action on his bill, S. 28, which
would give spectrum to first responders and pay for the network with some of
the proceeds from an auction of spectrum, including broadcast, for wireless
"The events of the last 24 hours have put the losses
suffered 10 years ago by fire fighters, police and other first responders back
on the front page," he said, using that as an opportunity to link that
event to his bill. "This country owes these American heroes for making the
ultimate sacrifice. Our public safety officials are always there for us and we
have to be there for them. Lives were likely lost in the World
tragedy because of poor communications. First responders in this country
deserve a national interoperable communications network-just as the 9/11
Commission recommended. We should vote on legislation to set aside spectrum and
provide the resources for a nationwide public safety communications
The goal of Rockefeller and others is to get a bill passed
by September and before the 10th anniversary of the attacks would put a
spotlight on in action on what was one of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations
for helping prevent future such attacks.
In the wake of Bin Laden's killing by U.S.
forces this week, New York, for
example, is on high alert for retaliation by his followers.