Sprint lobbies Obama on first responder network

Sprint Nextel reportedly is lobbying the incoming Obama administration to create a $2 billion interoperable cellular network for emergency first responders.

The carrier is pitching a five-year, $2 billion plan to Obama's transition team that, according to Sprint, will be a readibly deployed interoperable network. The plan specifically calls for 100 satellite-based light trucks that would respond to emergencies, as well as some 100,000 handsets and pieces of equipment positioned at up to 40 pre-selected sites.

The plan is emerging in the wake of the FCC's failure to create an interoperable network for first responders using the D block of the 700 MHZ band. Last fall the FCC created preliminary auction rules to create such a network, but the measure foundered and a new framework was not put in place. The FCC  tried to auction off the D-block spectrum during the original 700 MHz spectrum auction in early 2008, but was unable to get a commercial bidder.

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