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Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011

I found this bit of proposed legislation by Peter King (R-NY) interesting:

Not later than 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the paired electromagnetic spectrum bands of 420–440 megahertz and 450–470 megahertz recovered as a result of the report and order required under subsection (c) shall be auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission through a system of competitive bidding meeting the requirements of section 309 of the Communications Act of 1934.

Does this mean broadcasters will be loosing their Part 74 Broadcast Auxilliary RPU licenses?  Section 74.402(4)(b)(4) lists those frequencies as 450.03125 through 450.950 and 455.03125 though 455.950 MHz in various channel configurations.  These frequencies are use mostly for RPU but are also used for TSL systems. This is the NITA frequency allocation chart.  The RPU frequencies are shared but I doubt an entity that has paid through the nose for exclusive use of a frequency band would be interested in that. Further, according to Part 97.301(a), the 70 cm Amateur Radio frequencies are from 420 to 450 MHz.  That has the Amateur Radio users quite upset, and rightly so.  I don’t know if this has filtered down to broadcasters yet, but loosing RPU and TSL frequencies would likely be an inconvenience to say the least.

What gives?  Reading through the bill, it seems there would be a multi-part shuffle over several years to move the “first responders” to a nation wide system on the 758-768 and 788-798 MHz frequencies.  The then “empty” frequencies would be auctioned off, except some of them aren’t so empty.

Does this mean that all the existing police, fire, ambulance radios will be phased out in favor of the 700 MHz units?  Didn’t they just install a bunch of trunked 800 MHz systems recently? Wasn’t that an expensive boondoggle that still has yet to be sorted out in some locations?  Ah well, its only $2 billion or so tax payers dollars, which, to fight terrorism, anything goes.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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