Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Urges Congressional Leadership To Fully Fund Next Generation 9-1-1
Washington, DC-November 30, 2022
Today, Senator Schumer, Senator McConnell, Representative Pelosi, and Representative McCarthy received a letter from the Coalition
Dear Senator Schumer, Senator McConnell, Representative Pelosi, and Representative McCarthy:
Our organizations have been working together as the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition to advocate for Congress to fund Next Generation 9-1-1 to modernize the nation’s more than 50-year-old 9-1-1 systems to benefit the public and first responders. In July, we welcomed House passage of H.R. 7624, the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022, which included funding legislation to implement NG9-1-1 nationwide in an interoperable, innovative, secure, and competitively neutral fashion, consistent with our Coalition’s core principles. We were pleased to have strong bipartisan support for the bill, including a unanimous vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Based on recent conversations with majority and minority staff for the Senate Commerce Committee, we understand that the agreement being finalized for a corresponding legislative package includes funding for Next Generation 9-1-1.
We have never been closer to securing the investment needed to modernize our nation’s 9-1-1 systems and ensuring that our brave 9-1-1, fire/rescue, law enforcement, and emergency medical services personnel have the modern communications tools they need to protect life and property.
On behalf of our public safety members, our ask remains the same: (1) fully fund NG9-1-1 in the amount of $15B to ensure that all areas of the country – rural and urban – benefit from this needed and overdue upgrade, (2) provide the agency charged with grant implementation, NTIA, with sufficient borrowing authority to begin this important work as soon as possible (particularly with spectrum auction revenue not expected for several years), and (3) retain without change the carefully crafted, bipartisan NG9-1-1 legislative language contained in H.R. 7624.
We respectfully seek your leadership to ensure that federal NG9-1-1 funding legislation is enacted this Congress. Every day without action on this national priority represents an opportunity missed for public safety, and potentially lives lost.
House Energy & Commerce Leadership Press Release in Support of Next Generation 9-1-1
Washington, DC-Sep 30, 2022
BIPARTISAN E&C LEADERS URGE SENATE TO PASS THE SPECTRUM INNOVATION ACT
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) issued the following joint statement today calling on the Senate to pass the Spectrum Innovation Act, which will help improve American technological leadership and strengthen public safety and national security:
“Access to adequate spectrum is crucial for the devices that we have all grown to depend upon in our everyday lives — from mobile telephone service and navigation and delivery applications, to telehealth services and connected devices. That’s why, in July, the House overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act, which would extend the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) spectrum auction authority for 18 months. This crucial bill gives Congress time to build consensus on a clear path forward to make more spectrum available for commercial use, while at the same time ensuring the FCC has the authority to continue its spectrum auction work without disruption. It also fixes the process for making the lower 3 GHz band available for auction and funds important initiatives, including Next Generation 9-1-1 and the FCC’s rip and replace program to rid Huawei from our nation’s communications networks.
“The Continuing Resolution passed today includes a short-term extension of the FCC’s general auction authority until December 16, 2022. This provides enough time for the Senate to act and pass the Spectrum Innovation Act. Building consensus around a new spectrum pipeline should not be rushed, and the Spectrum Innovation Act ensures Congress has time to do its work to build a spectrum pipeline. We must secure U.S. technological leadership, and so we urge the Senate to immediately pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk.”
The Spectrum Innovation Act passed overwhelmingly out of the House on July 27, 2022, after thorough vetting by members and robust stakeholder engagement. The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held two hearings to evaluate the legislation beginning in March 2022. Based on stakeholder feedback and bipartisan discussions, the legislation was amended in both the Subcommittee and Full Committee markups, where it passed unanimously both times. As a result of this rigorous process, the Spectrum Innovation Act passed on the House floor with a strong bipartisan vote.
About the Coalition
The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, comprised of stakeholders from every discipline within the public safety community, is committed to advancing legislation to enable a nationwide upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1.