Last updated: February 22, 2011 - 9:00am
The Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011 (HR 607), a public safety bill introduced by Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-NY), is catching some flak from broadcast engineers. The bill allocates a chunk of spectrum to public safety agencies and funds the creation of a broadband network. But the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is wary of one provision of the bill which says that, within ten years, the paired spectrum between 420-440MHz and 450-470MHz will be auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission for commercial use. Apparently this includes radio broadcasters between 450-451MHz and 455-456MHz. The problem is that the bill does not offer the displaced broadcasters any replacement spectrum, according to the SBE.