D Block companion bill introduced in the House
Legislation that would reallocate 700 MHz D Block spectrum to public safety and provide significant funding for the buildout of a nationwide LTE network has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, just days before Friday’s scheduled committee hearing on the topic.
Introduced by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), H.R. 2482 is a companion bill to S. 911, which passed the Senate Commerce Committee by a convincing 21-4 vote. Like S. 911, the House bill would reallocate the 700 MHz D Block — slated for auction under current law — to public safety to support a nationwide buildout of a first-responder LTE network. The legislation also calls for $11 billion in funding for the network and $10 billion to reduce the federal deficit.
On Friday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will conduct a hearing examining D Block reallocation and funding of a public-safety network. Most Beltway sources expect such bills to receive much greater opposition in the House than they have in the Senate; in fact, there is speculation that legislation will be introduced that will reiterate the intention for the FCC to auction the D Block to commercial operators.
“We’re very pleased that Rep. Dingell has offered up this companion legislation,” Chris Moore, spokesman for the Public Safety Alliance, said during an interview. “We’re hoping to get it through the hearing and get House Energy and Commerce to support an allocation of the D Block to public safety and to get sufficient funding to build out a nationwide public-safety network.”