Public safety groups endorse LTE as broadband solution

Three public safety organizations have endorsed LTE over the last few days as the preferred technology for a proposed national broadband network for first responders in the 700 MHz spectrum band.

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) issued a press release Tuesday endorsing LTE, the 4G standard chosen by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. On Wednesday, the National Public-Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) also endorsed LTE, but said that those supporting competing technologies, such as WiMAX, would have 30 days to convince the organization that LTE isn't the best choice. All of this comes in the wake of eight major public safety organizations asking Congress to give the 700 MHz D Block directly to public safety.

Such a move likely would further lower the cost of LTE in the 700 MHz band by creating a larger pool of buyers, as long as LTE devices support the bands used by all the players.

In April, Steve Zipperstein, Verizon's vice president for legal and external affairs and the carrier's general counsel, said the government should not rehash a process that has already failed (D-Block bids during last year's 700 MHz auction did not pass the required $1.3 billion reserve). In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he called for allocating the D-Block spectrum directly to public safety organizations on a state, local and regional basis. Zipperstein also said the public safety organizations should be free to choose the commercial partners of their choice.

For more:
- see this Urgent Communications article

Related Articles:
Verizon urges scrapping D-Block auction process
FCC proposes new plan to auction D-Block
Is the D-Block dead?
Congress takes on failure of D-block auction