Congress Accelerates $1 Billion in Interoperability Funds
Congress approved a measure that will make $1 billion in interoperability funds available to public-safety agencies before the auction of the 700 MHz. band, the funding source, takes place beginning in January 2008.
Introduced by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the Call Home Act is primarily concerned about ensuring that U.S. troops deployed abroad can call home at reduced rates.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will administer allocation of funding, but it is not clear by what criteria. Thus far only one qualification has been clarified–that deployments seeking funding be interoperable with the 700 MHz. band.
“From the way I read the bill, they have to parcel it out by September 30 [of 2007],” says APCO Legislative Director Yucel Ors. “It has to be allocated, but who they allocate it to–and how it gets allocated–is still to be determined.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Mobile Radio Technology (12/11/06); Jackson, Donny.