The FCC will host a field hearing next week entitled “The Role of Broadband in Improving Public Safety Communications and Emergency Response,” as part of its data-gathering efforts prior to delivering a national broadband plan to Congress in mid-February.

Scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. EST next Thursday, Nov. 12, the hearing will mark the second time the FCC has conducted a public-safety hearing within the context of the broadband-plan initiative.

“It’s basically part of the broadband plan efforts to accumulate information and hear different perspectives from public safety on some of the more technical aspects and how they may affect them,” FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said. “It basically complements the first broadband workshop that was held.”

Kenny said it is possible that FCC commissioners will be part of the field hearing, which will be conducted in the Leavey Center at Georgetown University. Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's Web page.