Presidents of six public-safety organizations today commended the Federal Communications Commission for issuing an order yesterday that is designed to abate interference problems that have for years plagued public-safety communications operating at 800 MHz.

Under the plan, public-safety entities’ wireless operations would be relocated to contiguous blocks of spectrum, which is expected to mitigate interference from Nextel Communications. Nextel would pay all relocation costs and contribute 4.5 MHz of addition 800 MHz spectrum to public safety, which currently has 10 MHz of spectrum in the band.

Presidents for the six groups—the Association Of Public-Safety Communications Officials, the International Association Of Chiefs Of Police, the International Association Of Fire Chiefs, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association—issued a press release that called the FCC action a “groundbreaking decision [that] will be positively received in police stations and fire houses all across America.”

The release also acknowledged the possibility that litigation and other interests could block or delay implementation of the order, but the public-safety officials urged entities to resist the temptation to take such action.

“We now call on everyone who has been involved in this proceeding to unify in support of the Commission's order and to work with local agencies and the federal government to see that the implementation of this plan is as smooth and efficient as possible,” according to the release. “We hope all the interested parties will recognize that continued opposition would only further delay public safety’s solution to interference, which is to the detriment of police, fire and EMS officials as well as the American public.”