Broadband and digital use create more room on airwaves
| 12.23.2005 | 10:21:25 | Views: 2914 | ID:
December 23 '05: New laws requiring the public to go to high definition television is proving in aiding the first responder community according to Government Computer News.
On Friday, GCN reported "A budget reconciliation bill, approved by the House earlier this week, includes a new $1 billion federal grant program for police and fire agency interoperable communications to be funded by the public auction of radio spectrum."With Americans moving into digital TV signals, more room for communications on frequencies previously used by stations to broadcast their shows can now be used by the response community. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich), the sponsor of the bill told GCN, "If we learned anything from 9-11 and Katrina, we learned that our first responders are woefully unequipped as it relates to interoperability. ... We need a national vision for funding, equipment and technology and this program is an important step in that direction." Details of the bill include the grant being administered by the Commerce Department's Office of National Telecommunications and Information Administration with help from the Department of Homeland Security. And in similar news, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has released grant awards of more than $2 million in the state of Oregon to help with distressed, poor and needy families in 27 counties around the state. The goal of the grants, the FEMA release read is to "forge public/private partnerships to help communities help themselves and assist thousands of people facing non-disaster emergencies."
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