Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Congress Still Won't Keep Hands off Spectrum 'Piggy Bank.'(radio Spectrum)

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Congress Still Won't Keep Hands off Spectrum 'Piggy Bank.'(radio Spectrum)

Article excerpt

Congressional leaders and the White House were negotiating a 1997 spending wish list, partially financed by the sale of spectrum, as The Weekly went to press. With some leaders claiming there was little to no opposition to using spectrum as a piggy bank to pay for non-public safety needs, the negotiators were attempting to come up with at least a $6.5 billion package for action before Congress' scheduled adjournment as early as the end of this week.

The White House is pressing to add back funds for housing, education, and the environment.

The White House had suggested using a portion of the $10 billion defense spending increase over this year and the request made by the Pentagon for next year to pay for the domestic wish list, but negotiators rejected that proposal and appeared to be centering in on using spectrum sales and a one-time gain through the creation of a bank insurance savings fund to bail out the failing savings and loan insurance fund.

life and property."

Commission Issues Key Report

The action in Congress came just as the FCC's Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) issued its final report in a public session at the U.S. Department of Commerce calling for immediate action to enable cities to protect the life and property of their citizens and recommended:

* Immediately, 2.5 MHz of spectrum should be identified for interoperability from new and existing allocations.

* In the short term, 25 MHz of new public safety allocation should be set aside by making spectrum presently used for television broadcast channels 60-69 available as soon as possible for public safety purposes.

* To ensure that future public safety needs are met, a continuing consultative process should be established to permit the public safety community and the FCC and the NTIA to adjust to rapid changes in public safety needs. …

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