Vice President Joe Biden reiterated the administration commitment to creating a national broadband public safety network that would give first responders and law enforcement personnel the ability to use cutting edge communications technologies during a disaster.
The network would further carve out a portion (namely the D block) of the wireless broadband spectrum to be used for the project, Biden said Thursday at a press briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
“We owe it to our first responders and law enforcement personnel to equip them with the best technologies for the courage it takes to do their job,” Biden said. “This is truly a bi-partisan issue that goes beyond Democratic or Republican views, but something that has to be done immediately.”
Biden was joined by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller.
At the event, Genachowski said it was also time to get the network up and running. “We are closer than ever to achieving the vital goal of funding and building a nationwide, interoperable network for our first responders,” he said.
“We have already taken actions within our power to advance public safety communications with input from the public safety community … we’ve helped establish a framework for an interoperable network … authorized over 20 jurisdictions for early deployment of the public safety broadband network, and we have worked with NTIA to assure funding to many of those networks.”