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IAFC Supports President Obama’s Call to Establish a Nationwide Public-Safety Broadband Network

February 10, 2011

Fairfax, Va., Feb. 10, 2011... Today, President Obama called for the establishment of a high-speed wireless broadband network for public safety during an address detailing his proposals for expanded wireless access.

The White House-issued fact sheet on the Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative unveiled by the president today at Northern Michigan University discusses his support of allocating the D Block in the 700 MHz band of spectrum to public safety, an initiative that has been long supported by the IAFC and other public-safety leadership organizations.

The allocation of the D Block is an important component in the development of a nationwide wireless broadband network for public-safety responders. Likewise, high-speed wireless services to rural America improves the likelihood that responder technology will function throughout those response areas and that coverage exists to report emergencies to 911 centers.

Chief Jack Parow, IAFC president and chairman of the board, praised the president’s support of public safety’s communication needs. “The International Association of Fire Chiefs is proud to support President Obama’s proposal. The events of both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the importance of public-safety communications systems that are resilient and both operable and interoperable. We believe that a public-safety broadband network is vital for future, effective emergency response operations, and we urge Congress to pass legislation this year.”

Earlier this week, the IAFC and other public-safety organization leaders were on Capitol Hill to continue to discuss the importance of legislation to allocate the D Block to public safety and provide sustainable funding for a nationwide public-safety broadband network. President Obama’s support today is an important step forward in what will continue to be a long and complex process. The IAFC will continue to keep its members posted as progress on this issue continues.

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