House Democrats Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Donna Edwards of Maryland are introducing a bill that provides $300 million to research the founding of a national public safety broadband network, according to The Hill newspaper.
Johnson and Edwards say the Public Safety Broadband Network Enabling Act would fund the National Institute of Standards and Technology for research and development to enable the creation of the network.
According to the lawmakers, the recently approved payroll-tax bill does not include any confirmation that the research and development work will take place. Johnson said the proposal falls short of what is needed.
“Any legislation to create a public safety broadband network should include responsible research and development provisions,” said Johnson. “The failure to include such provisions puts the success of the entire public safety broadband network at risk.”
Edwards said the creation of the public safety broadband network is, as suggested by the 9/11 Commission, is long overdue.
“It is important that we move forward in earnest, but we must ensure that broadband technologies are developed to work seamlessly with and meet the needs of our first responders,” said Edwards.