WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today issued the following statement regarding House and Senate approval of legislation to reallocate the D block of spectrum to public safety:

“The nation’s governors praise Congress for passing legislation that will reallocate the D block to public safety and provide critical support for a public safety broadband network. Governors have long called for reallocation, a cornerstone of any effort to make the nation’s first interoperable public safety broadband network a reality. Today’s passage demonstrates the strong bipartisan support for providing our first responders with access to the most modern and reliable communications technologies.

“Currently, first responders must rely on commercial networks for mobile data services. Dedicating spectrum known as the D block to serve public safety will provide our first responders with a single communications network and a single device that will work seamlessly anywhere in the country and is consistent with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

“This legislation addresses several key concerns identified by governors, including: funds for network construction; preserving public safety use  of 700 MHz narrowband spectrum; and establishing a governance structure to facilitate nationwide coverage and interoperability.  In addition, the legislation provides an estimated $15 billion in revenue from spectrum auctions to offset the costs of other provisions in the bill. 

“The nation’s governors thank Congress for prioritizing the reallocation of the D block.  In particular, governors appreciate the leadership of Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison of the Senate Commerce Committee and Representative Upton, Walden, Waxman and Eshoo of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their critical support and willingness to push this issue forward.  Governors look forward to playing an active role as the legislation is implemented to ensure first responders can communicate and deliver life-saving and life-sustaining services to citizens.”

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Additional NGA work on D block:

Testimony by NGA Vice Chair Delaware Gov. Markell

Letters:

January 20, 2012

July 8, 2011

September 9, 2011

April 9, 2010

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.