Broadband Safety Net

5:40 PM -- Pretty interesting. Republican presidential candidate John McCain is throwing his support behind a national broadband wireless network for first responders and says he'll set one up if elected.

"So that police, fire-fighters, and other public safety agencies can freely communicate with one another, we will build a long overdue national, interoperable public safety broadband network," he said. "You and all your colleagues in law enforcement need seamless communication across every agency and jurisdiction for emergency response... Just last year, I introduced a bill that provided for more than twice the capacity that the FCC has currently set aside for public safety. Special interests in Washington want the FCC to auction off more of that spectrum than I do. But no matter what price it might fetch at auction, it should be available for fighting crime and saving lives."

The FCC had, of course, tried to create the conditions for just such a network with its D-block 700 MHz network early this year but got very little interest. Wonder how McCain proposes to pay for his plan?

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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