CEA, DTV Coalition Oppose Spectrum Proposal

The two organizations have released an economic study that warns against disrupting the bipartsan balance struck in the DTV and Public Safety Act of 2005.
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Arlington, Va.--The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the High Tech DTV Coalition recently released a report detailing critical dangers in an alterative spectrum allocation proposal by a private business venture, Cyren Call. As lawmakers and policymakers consider public safety communications and interoperability issues, this economic analysis of the Cyren Call proposal cautions lawmakers not to threaten public safety access to vital spectrum by disrupting the delicate bipartisan balance struck in the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 (DTV and Public Safety Act).

The report, "Improving Public Safety Communications: An Analysis of Alternative Approaches," was fielded by Criterion Economics and highlights the flaws of Cyren Call's proposed alternative approach to reallocating the 700 MHz spectrum. The report also concludes that the 24 MHz of spectrum already allocated by Congress to public safety fully meets the needs of public safety without Cyren Call's risk-riddled request to be given additional spectrum for itself.

Jason Oxman, vice president, communications at CEA, said, "Cyren Call's proposal would derail Congress' plan to facilitate the DTV transition, and as a result, place public safety agencies at risk to get the spectrum and funding they need for interoperability--spectrum and funding already provided for in the current law. CEA urges the FCC and Congress to maintain the DTV and Public Safety Act as it was signed into law last year."

The DTV and Public Safety Act sets a firm date for transitioning existing television services to digital technology, ensuring that public safety agencies will have access to an additional 24 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band to provide critical interoperability and meet their future voice and data needs. In addition, the Act provides for $1 billion in funding for interoperable communications systems through the auction of commercial spectrum. More than $300 million will be used for other important public safety programs, including the establishment of a unified national alert system and enhancements to existing 911 systems.

The Criterion report is available online at www.criterioneconomics.com.

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