First Responder Network and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress [March 12, 2014] [open pdf - 339KB]
"Since September 11, 2001, when communications failures contributed to the tragedies of the day, Congress has passed several laws intended to create a nationwide emergency communications capability. Yet the United States has continued to strive for a solution that assures seamless communications among first responders and emergency personnel at the scene of a major disaster. To address this problem, Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications (FirstNet), and assigned additional radio frequency spectrum to accommodate the new network. In addition, the act has designated federal appropriations of over $7 billion for the network and other public safety needs. These funds will be provided through new revenue from the auction of spectrum licenses. These and other public safety and spectrum provisions of the act appear in Title VI, known as the Public Safety and Spectrum Act, or Spectrum Act."
CRS Report for Congress, R42543