First-responder officials are glad that House Commerce Committee leaders are working to ensure that there is appropriate competition in the public-safety communications market, a former president of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) said yesterday.

Former APCO President Richard Mirgon said some statements he made to Urgent Communications about the Commerce Committee’s inquiry about Motorola Solution’s dominance of the public-safety communications market were taken out of context in an article posted on the magazine’s Web site last week.

“Public safety appreciates the work the Commerce Committee is doing to help identify why there is limited competition for public-safety radio equipment,” Mirgon said. “However, one of the key factors as to why Motorola’s market share is so high is because of public safety’s loyalty to traditional vendors and the strong relationships they have built with local governments.”

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last month, bipartisan leaders of the House Commerce Committee expressed concern that Motorola Solutions’ reported 80% market share of public-safety narrowband-communications market could be repeated in the 700 MHz LTE sector for first responders. The letter questioned whether goals for interoperability and less-expensive public-safety broadband communications gear might be undermined if such a market-share scenario happens in the LTE market.

Initially, the letter asked for a response to the concerns by May 5, but Genachowski requested a time extension, which was granted, according to a spokesperson for the Commerce Committee.