Members of the National Public Safety Communications Council (NPSTC) support the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (H.R. 5085). NPSTC’s members thank Representatives Eliot Engel, Lee Zeldin, and Peter King for introducing this legislation. If enacted as drafted, the Act would repeal section 6103 in Title VI of P.L. 112-96, which currently mandates that the Federal Communications Commission begin an auction of the public safety spectrum in the T-Band (470-512 MHz) by February 21, 2021, and clear public safety operations from that band within 2 years of auction close.
Section 6103 of Public Law 112-96 is of grave concern to the public safety community, which deploys the T-Band spectrum to support law enforcement, the fire services, and emergency medical services (EMS).
The T-Band spectrum is available for public safety use within a 50-mile radius of the following metropolitan centers: Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Previously, NPSTC conducted comprehensive studies and issued reports that characterize the public safety T-Band spectrum use in these areas and address the significant negative impact of requiring public safety to relocate out of the T-Band.
Public safety organizations use the T-Band spectrum to support both day-to-day operations and regional interoperability. Because of the mission critical nature of the communications required, local public safety organizations have spent many years and millions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxpayer funds to plan and build out T-Band networks that are battle-tested and designed for the operational needs of each area.
Accordingly, NPSTC members believe repealing Section 6103 of P.L. 112-96 is essential and strongly support the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (H.R. 5085) as introduced by Representatives Eliot Engel, Lee Zeldin, and Peter King.