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iCERT Urges Senate to Pass NG911 Funding

In letter to Senate leadership, iCERT asks Senate to pass funding for NG911 by dedicating Spectrum auction proceeds to critical public safety need

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, August 8, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies sent the following letter to the leadership of the U.S. Senate earlier today, regarding funding for Next Generation 911 (NG911).

August 8, 2022

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Democratic Leader
United States Senate

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate

The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) writes to offer its support for the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 and to ask Congress to include in that legislation provisions that would provide critical funding for Next Generation 911 (NG911). Our nation’s emergency response systems are vital to the safety and security of our citizens, our communities, and our country, and Federal funding is needed to enable State and local authorities to make the technological upgrades that are necessary to ensure these systems are resilient and effective in protecting the public.

iCERT is a trade association representing the emergency response sector. Our members develop and deploy the systems, services, and equipment that enable effective emergency response. Many of our members are also engaged in using spectrum and advanced wireless technologies to provide cutting-edge communications for all sectors of the U.S. economy. We believe that the nation’s spectrum and emergency response activities are aligned on the same common goal; advancing technologies that will improve communications and promote U.S. leadership in the global economy. As new wireless technologies and services emerge, it is important that our nation’s 911 systems keep pace and that these technological improvements are used to enhance public safety. This is especially important in rural parts of the country where investments in advanced emergency response systems are woefully inadequate.

The Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 (S.4117), introduced in the Senate by Sen. Lujan and co-sponsored by Sen. Thune and Sen. Blackburn, addresses important spectrum policy issues, and we are pleased it has bipartisan support. The legislation, if passed, would extend the FCC’s auction authority and thus avoid an expiration of that authority that would have a significantly harmful effect on future wireless growth. It also identifies the first band of a “spectrum pipeline” (Lower 3 GHz band) that would help to ensure future availability of critical mid-band spectrum. These two provisions are important to support our nation’s wireless industry and its global competitiveness. However, they also provide an opportunity to address another critical national objective using the funds made available through an auction of Lower 3 GHz licenses.

Legislation recently passed by the House (H.R.7624) would do just that, authorizing up to $10 billion of auction proceeds for NG911. We strongly supported passage of H.R.7624 for that reason, and we urge you to adopt similar NG911 provisions in S.4117.

Our nation’s emergency response systems are vital to public safety, and our communities deserve the most advanced systems possible. Anything less places the public, our communities, and our nation at risk. iCERT urges Congress to act promptly to pass the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 with provisions that would provide critical funding for NG911.

Respectfully,

George Kelemen, Executive Director
iCERT

cc:

The Honorable Maria Cantwell, Chair, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
The Honorable Ben Ray Lujan, Chair, Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband
The Honorable Roger Wicker, Ranking Member, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
The Honorable John Thune, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband

George KELEMEN
iCERT
+1 2028050096
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