IAFC 150 anniversary logo

Congress Passes Legislation Protecting Mission-Critical Public Safety Communications


The Spending/Stimulus package, which passed Congress this week contains the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act. “The IAFC expresses its thanks and gratitude to Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Representatives Elliot Engel (D-NY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Peter King (R-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR), and a coalition of industry and public safety groups for all their hard work to pass the Don't Break Up the T-Band Act. This is a big victory for first responders,” said Chief Richard R. Carrizzo, CFO, President and Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

The T-Band spectrum (470 MHz – 512 MHz) is critical to public safety interoperable radio communications in major metropolitan areas and their surrounding regions across the country. After the tragedy of September 11, 2001 demonstrated the need for fire, EMS, and law enforcement entities to communicate with each other, cities began to invest more heavily in developing interoperable networks for radio communications on T-Band spectrum. Section 6103 of the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96), which the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act repeals, directed the FCC to auction public safety’s T-Band spectrum.

Without the passage of the Don't Break Up the T-Band Act, the FCC would have had to begin auctioning off T-Band spectrum in February. FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioner Rosenworcel both expressed the need for Congress to repeal the T-band auction mandate. These auctions would have irreparably damaged public safety communications in the metropolitan areas of New York City, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco/Oakland. First responders in these areas would have had to re-work their communications infrastructure and many would have been left without alternative spectrum to which to migrate.

By preserving first responder communications across the country, the Don't Break Up the T-Band Act saves taxpayers billions and ensures the continued well-being of millions of Americans. The IAFC strongly applauds the passage of this crucial legislation.

For media inquiries, contact Ken LaSala, Director of Government Relations & Policy.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more
Related News
You are not logged in.