Senate Commerce Slates Emergency Communications Hearing

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The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled its second communications-related hearing.

The committee will look at the Present and Future of Public Safety Communications Feb. 8 at 10 a.m.

Its first communications-related foray will be an FCC oversight hearing on Feb. 1, where the issue of emergency communications may also come up.

Democrats now control the agenda, but committee member John McCain (R-Ariz.), has been highly critical of broadcasters, saying they have dragged their feet on giving up spectrum that should be going to first responders.

Improving emergency communications was also one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The new Democratic Congress has pledged to work swiftly to implement those recommendations.