Monday, February 19, 2007

Control of $1B interoperability fund debated: "The Homeland Security Department has no clear authority at this time over a $1 billion fund for public safety agency interoperable communications equipment that it has been publicizing as a first responder grant program, according to a Congressional Research Service memorandum.

The Feb. 12 memo was addressed to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in response to her request for further information about the fund. DHS said in a Feb. 5 fact sheet released with its fiscal 2008 budget request that it will be co-administering the interoperability grants program with the Commerce Department."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Arlington OEM Deputizes Ham Radio Group to Assist with Emergency Communications: "Twenty-five volunteers have graduated from a year-long course of weekly radio communications exercises and stand ready to assist Arlington County Government with crisis communications and response. The local Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) volunteers have received their RACES certificates of graduation from Arlington's Office of Emergency Management. The certificates qualify them to help in emergency situations such as weather catastrophes and terrorist attacks. "

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lawmakers keep eye on communications grant program: "House lawmakers on Friday pressed Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to establish guidelines for a new $1 billion grant program to help emergency responders buy communications equipment than can work across jurisdictions.

The Homeland Security and Commerce departments are supposed to co-administer the program, which is to be funded with proceeds from selling radio spectrum this year. But House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and ranking Republican Peter King of New York said the departments have been unable to agree on management of the program."

Monday, February 05, 2007

McCain to introduce legislation for public-private 700 MHz network: "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday announced his intention to introduce legislation calling for a public-private broadband network at 700 MHz that would promote communications interoperability between first-responder agencies nationwide on 30 MHz of spectrum slated to be auctioned in a year."