H.R. 607, The Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011 (7 comments ↓)

  • This item is from the 112th Congress (2011-2012) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 607 would enhance public safety by making more spectrum available to public safety agencies, to facilitate the development of a wireless public safety broadband network, to provide standards for the spectrum needs of public safety agencies.

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(logged-in user) March 5, 2011, 12:54pm (report abuse)

Based solely on reading the proposed bill it is highly misleading concerning its intent. The purported purpose, in part: "To enhance public safety by making more spectrum available to public safety


The Bill does NOT disclose that the 420–470 megahertz is already in use by amateur radio for the purpose of supporting amateur communications, which encompasses the concept of "first responders".

The Bill states that the band is being "Recovered". This is disingenuous since the band is in use. It is not "vacant".

The Bill states that the band will be auctioned off. The implication is that the band will be "privatized" and sold to private corporations for leasing the spectrum. This will increase the expense for utilizing the frequencies by adding a leasing charge. Translates into increased taxes. Public agencies should be allowed to freely obtain licenses and develop their own systems.

Private companies will still be able to make money by selling equipment and services.

HR 607 supporter

March 6, 2011, 4:55am (report abuse)

it is critical to pass HR 607 to make funding available for Public safety, first responder, digital secure wireless communication.

amateur radio people already have more frequencies assign to them than all of the cellular phone companies and public safety agency combined in entire United States. Which are assigned to them right after WW II, so getting 1% of their spectrum for public safety should not be a issue. Amateur Radio people like to have all of the frequency because they are used for personal purpose. and their technology is quite old, therefore require much more bandwidth than modern digital equipment.

look at video explain why we need this bill to pass.



(logged-in user) March 6, 2011, 10:22pm (report abuse)

@HR607 - Please explain how making funding available will work in the face of forcing the first responders to PAY for the use of the spectrum. The spectrum could be made available for free. free means not have a usage fee which lowers the first responders costs.

The current proposal seems to be a case of corporate welfare. Tax the citizens to provide so-called grants to PAY a corporation for use the spectrum.

I reiterate that private corporation will still make money selling equipment and consulting fees.


(logged-in user) March 7, 2011, 9:17am (report abuse)

@HR607 - Pardon my bad English in the prior post, the text box is small and my eyesight is poor.

You overlook the concept that the band can be shared. Furthermore, please provide an in-depth explaining why "modern" technologies cannot be employed/deployed a free and shared 420-470 megahertz band.

You make the claim that the technology employed by amateurs is "quite old". That misses the point that "modern" technologies can be implemented without selling the spectrum.

Selling the spectrum has nothing to do with employing “modern” technologies. The public agencies will be able to buy and implement “modern” technologies if the spectrum is shared. HR607, as proposed, is nothing more than corporate welfare at the expense of the American tax payers.


March 7, 2011, 9:48am (report abuse)

As written, instead of selling them off as was initially planned,HR-607 gives the D Block (old UHF TV frequencies) to emergency organizations. But to compensate for the funds lost in not selling them off, the bill now wants to take 420-440 MHz and sell those frequencies instead.

420 is used by satellites, Pave Paws radar systems, radio beacons, military and Amateur Radio operators. The seizure and sale of 420-440 MHz does not benefit anyone.


(logged-in user) March 7, 2011, 10:49am (report abuse)

@AllenP: Thank-you for that clarification.


March 30, 2011, 3:02pm (report abuse)

I agree that emergency responders need to communicate. How about working with Amateur radio operators to achieve the best equipment and frequencies. Amateur radios are up to date, with them we can communicate around the world, Ameteur radio operators have, from the first, advanced radio and TV. We are an asset not a liability.

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