Summary

A bill to establish the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications. Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Jun 8, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Date Introduced
May 9, 2011

Bill Text

A BILL

To establish the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act'' or the ``SPECTRUM Act''.

SEC. 2. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

It is the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications by-- (1) providing sufficient wireless spectrum and other resources to build a nationwide interoperable wireless public safety broadband network; (2) encouraging more efficient, flexible, and effective use of spectrum, a valuable and finite public resource; (3) promoting voluntary market mechanisms to ensure the optimal allocation of spectrum; (4) reforming the Federal Government's spectrum management practices; and (5) engaging in advanced research and development into emerging wireless technologies. <all>

Read Full Text

Sentiment Map

Select:

Nation

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

State: CA

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Public safety communications networks got a boost in the Senate recently when, by a bipartisan vote of 21–4, the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved S. 911, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. It would reallocate the 700 megahertz (mHz) D-Block spectrum for public safety and create a mechanism for funding a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network. NACo strongly endorsed this legislation, along with other associations representing local and state governments, and the public safety community. http://www.naco.org/newsroom/countynews/Current%20Issue/6-20-11/Pages/SenateCommerceCommitteebacksD-blockreallocation.aspx

After the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation voted to approve S. 911, the “Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act,” CTIA-The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent released the following statement: “CTIA congratulates Chairman Rockefeller for moving his bill forward. We greatly appreciate the focus the bill places on authorizing incentive auctions and making additional spectrum available for commercial wireless providers. Making additional spectrum available is critical to ensuring that the wireless industry can continue to meet the exploding demand for wireless broadband services and remain a catalyst for economic growth. “We look forward to working with Chairman Rockefeller and his colleagues to make certain that this spectrum is brought to auction as soon as possible.” http://www.ctia.org/media/press/body.cfm/prid/2085

CEA PRAISES SENATE SPECTRUM BILL The Senate Commerce Committee recently passed a major spectrum bill, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act (S.911), introduced by Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison. Michael Petricone, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs made the following statement in response: “The Senate Commerce Committee’s action today marks a major milestone in ensuring that our nation’s spectrum resources are put to the highest use. Authorizing the FCC to conduct incentive auctions will result in millions of dollars for the U.S. Treasury, while securing our nation’s wireless future. We urge Congress to move forward on legislation to free up additional spectrum for wireless broadband as expeditiously as possible.” CEA proposed substantial changes to the bill prior to introduction and mark-up, all of which were adopted including a shift from a focus on "receiver standards" to "receiver performance." CEA was also successful in staving off a proposed amendment that would have required all cell phone receivers to be built according to government standards developed by the FCC and NTIA. http://cea.aristotle.com/Public.aspx

The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) today applauded Ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Henry Waxman, and Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison, as the leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee, for their continued support in pushing for comprehensive spectrum legislation to be enacted in Congress this year for jobs, the economy, deficit reduction and public safety. Specifically, the PSA fully supports their inclusion of D block allocation to public safety and funding of the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) within their formal letters of recommendations to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “Super Committee.” In July, Waxman and his colleague Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology subcommittee, circulated comprehensive draft legislation on spectrum policy that closely mirrored S.911; Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011, bipartisan legislation introduced by Chairman John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-WV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) in the Senate. S.911 was overwhelmingly voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee in June by a 21-4 vote. Both the Waxman-Eshoo Discussion Draft and S.911 include D block allocation and funding of the PSBN. Indeed, thus far this year, at least ten different bills have been introduced that call for allocation of D block to public safety including House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-NY) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson’s bill, H.R. 607; Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011, and a close companion, S.1040, as introduced by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and former Senate Commerce Committee Chairman and 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee, Senator John McCain (R-AZ). While H.R.607 has garnered 47 bipartisan co-sponsors, the bill has languished in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Communications and Technology subcommittee without further consideration since its introduction in March 2011. Many had called on Congress to pass legislation allocating the D block to public safety before the 10 Year Remembrance that passed on September 11, 2011, and yet others including the bipartisan co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission Tom Kean (R-NJ) and Lee Hamilton (D-NY), as well as former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (R-PA), have called on Congress to pass this legislation immediately. With the support of Chairman King and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA) Ranking Democrat on the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications subcommittee, introduced an amendment yesterday to the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which also called for allocation of the D block to public safety. The PSA is very pleased that several committees have included this top priority in their recommendation letters to the Super Committee to spur the economy, create jobs, dramatically improve public safety communications, and help reduce the deficit, all at no additional costs to taxpayers. http://psc.apcointl.org/?s=spectrum+act&submit=Search

Creation of a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network The Problem: The widespread adoption of broadband technology brings the opportunity to revolutionize the fire service with better access to communications, firefighter health and safety information, and situational awareness. Unfortunately, a nationwide, interoperable, public safety wireless broadband network does not currently exist. The Solution: Public safety has a license for 10 MHz of spectrum and a plan to create a nationwide, interoperable, public safety wireless broadband network. Unfortunately, a truly effective system requires 20 MHz, and current federal law mandates the auction of the adjacent 10 MHz of spectrum (the “D Block”) to a commercial bidder. Senators John D. “Jay” Rockefeller, IV (D-WV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act (S. 911) and Representative Peter King (R-NY) introduced the Broadband for First Responders Act (H.R. 607) to promote the development of a 20 MHz nationwide, interoperable, public safety broadband network by allocating the D Block directly to public safety. The bills also would provide funding for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the network. The Explanation: Explain the importance of communications interoperability and future broadband applications for the fire service. Mention the importance of having nationwide access to devices that can monitor firefighter health and safety, provide better on-scene emergency aid to the public, and provide video streaming and enhanced situational awareness to incident commanders. The “Ask:” Ask your Representatives and Senators to cosponsor H.R. 607 and S. 911, respectively. http://www.iafc.org/files/gr_legHotSheet.pdf

In May, Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced S. 911, the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization (SPECTRUM) Act. The bill, which would allocate 10 MHz of radio spectrum in the 700 MHz band (commonly referred to as the “D-Block”) to public safety for the purpose of building a nationwide broadband communications network, was subsequently approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and now awaits consideration by the full Senate. On July 20, the Congressional Budget Office released a cost estimate for S. 911 which found that the bill “would reduce net direct spending by $6.5 billion” over the next 10 years. According to a joint statement from Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison, “The Congressional Budget Office’s estimate reconfirms that our bill builds a robust public safety network, pays for itself, and still generates real deficit reduction. This is just another step along the path to final passage. S. 911 has strong bipartisan support, and we look forward to getting it through the Senate.” http://www.nvfc.org/media/news/d-block-bill-gaining-momentum-tell-congress-to-support-s-911/

Show More Positions

Organizations Opposing

No organizations opposing yet.

Users Supporting

No constiutents supporting yet.

Users Opposing

No constituents opposing yet.

Bill Summary

A bill to establish the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications.

S. 910 Veterans Health Equity Act of 2011 S. 912 Judgment Evading Foreign States Accountability Act of 2011