Date of Original Version
Response or Comment
Abstract or Description
The communications infrastructure used today by American first responders is disgracefully inadequate, especially in view of threats to homeland security since 9/11. Congress could change that.
When public safety communications systems fail, people can die. We have seen this occur after the 9/11 attacks, after Hurricane Katrina, and in countless large and small emergencies throughout the country. Many of these tragic failures are avoidable.
In addition to suffering from much-discussed interoperability problems, the communications systems used by public safety are less dependable than they should be, less secure than they should be, and less spectrally efficient than they should be. Ironically, they are also more expensive than they should be, which means tax-payers pay extra for systems that are unnecessarily prone to failure .