Thursday, April 22, 2010

FCC Recommends Public Safety Network Leverage Commercial Rollouts

The FCC issued a detailed report recommending that the public safety network for first responders that is called for in the National Broadband Report be built alongside next gen commercial networks rather than as separate infrastructure. This approach would cost approximately $6.5 billion over 10 years, significantly less than the projected $15.7 billion in capital costs associated with building a stand-alone public safety network.

In addition, the FCC's analysis indicates that to build and operate a stand-alone public safety network would be substantially more expensive than a network constructed under the FCC's recommended incentive-based approach. The study projects $12 to $16 billion in network costs for upgrades and operations within the first 10 years of the network's existence, while the cost for a stand-alone public safety network over the same 10-year period is projected at $25 billion.

"It is vitally important that we move forward with our plan to solve the public safety communications crisis that was exposed on 9/11 and during hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said Jamie Barnett, Chief of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.