FCC auction won't help public safety

FCC auction won't help public safety

Nowrasteh Letter in The San Jose Mercury News
December 10, 2007

The Mercury News (Editorial, Dec. 9)argued that the FCC's auction of the airwaves would greatly aid public safety by creating a national broadband system for emergency workers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the airwaves are already owned by the government for that very purpose. During Katrina and 9/11, the problem with the emergency responders was that there was too much spectrum for emergency responders, not too little. The police, fire department, forest service and military all have their own frequencies with incompatible radios. The airwaves are potentially worth billions of dollars. Emergency responders should have a slice of it, but the problem isn't with the amount of the airwaves they occupy, but with how it's used.