Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Senator Coburn has issued a response to HR 607

Have you contacted your Federal legislators about this issue?

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-607 will help you
track the bill and determine who your Senate and Congress
representatives are.

Now for Senator Coburn's response:

Thank you for writing me in opposition to the Broadband for First
Responders Act of 2011 (H.R. 607/S. 28). I appreciate your input, and
I am sorry to have kept you waiting on my response for so many months.
As you know, H.R. 607 seeks to award the D block spectrum to law
enforcement and public safety officials, thereby averting a FCC
auction of the spectrum. A similar bill did not pass Congress before
the close of the 111th Congress at the end of 2010.

Before we designate the D block for law enforcement, we must first
ensure that building a dedicated network for public safety within the
existing 24 MHz is not feasible, and that it would be more cost
effective to give away the D block than to auction it off. Congress
should leverage commercial technology and give the private sector
incentives to develop the broadband devices we need for law
enforcement and public safety agencies. Additionally, H.R. 607 and S.
28 both increase, rather than decrease, federal costs and commitments
considerably.

As you point out, this bill would also reallocate certain spectrum to
be auctioned off commercially once certain determinations have been
made. I appreciate hearing from you that amateur radio emergency
communications rely heavily on some of the likely impacted spectrum
and will keep your concerns in mind should this bill be considered by
the Senate.

I believe technological innovation and creativity is born from the
private sector, not the federal government. I ultimately would like to
see the private sector, rather than the government, control available
radio spectrum so that they may efficiently maximize its use. Once a
comprehensive study has been completed, Congress will be equipped to
make more informed policy decisions as to how to auction the spectrum,
consistent with the Constitution.

I have been encouraged by the increase in availability and performance
of broadband service to Americans. I am also pleased that the private
sector has seen the huge market demand for faster and more efficient
broadband service and invested $120 billion over the last two years in
broadband infrastructure. I believe the free market will lead to the
most efficient use of available spectrum and that technology and media
companies will adjust to any spectrum conditions they encounter.
I am inclined to support the auction of the D block, rather than the
smaller fragments of spectrum H.R. 607 proposes to auction off,
because it will help ensure the most effective use of precious
spectrum, and raise much-needed revenue to alleviate the federal
budget deficit.

Again, thank you for writing me. If you have any additional concerns,
please feel free to write again. Best wishes!

Sincerely,
Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator
TC: cak

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