Concerns Build About Public-Safety Network Requirements
Congress mandated a nationwide transition to digital television in 2009 so analog TV airwaves would be freed up for use by emergency first responders — but that part of the plan now appears in jeopardy and lawmakers might have to revisit it.
The top candidate to build out a nationwide wireless network and manage a multibillion-dollar public safety communications system in the emptied spectrum — a start-up venture called Frontline Wireless — walked away from the plan this week.
The spectrum freed up by the shift to digital TV is to be sold in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction that begins Jan. 24. It is possible no one will offer the $1.33 billion bidding minimum.