An Endowment for Public Safety Networking

Richard Bennett December 1, 2011
December 1, 2011

The latest spectrum bill from the House Republicans reverses the old consensus in favor of auctioning the D Block spectrum in order to fund nation-wide mobile broadband services for public safety in favor of simply assigning the D Block to public safety for the same purpose. Depending on the next steps, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing. The decision to assign rather than auction is based on faulty assumptions about the best way to meet public safety needs, but sometimes good things can happen for bad reasons. The public safety lobby insists that they have unique requirements that standards-based commercial networks can’t meet – especially for reliability and security – but also insists that it will embrace the LTE standard for the construction of a new network.