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IAFC to Congress: Include T-Band Mandate Repeal in COVID-19 Stimulus Package

T-Band users are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

(IAFC photo)

International Association of Fire Chiefs

Chantilly, Va. – The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and other public safety and related industry organizations today wrote to congressional leaders urging action on repealing the T-Band auction mandate on the nation’s largest municipalities as part of any coronavirus emergency stimulus spending package. Read letter (PDF)

“We write to strongly urge you to include language that would repeal Section 6103 in Title VI of P.L. 112-96 in any stimulus legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organizations wrote. “Such language will prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from being forced to auction and clear public safety communications from critical spectrum known as the T-Band (470 MHz-512 MHz).

“As emergency medical service (EMS), fire department, police department personnel, and others work to keep their communities safe and healthy during the current crisis and in the future, it is imperative that these T-Band users know they will continue to have the resources they need to do their jobs on behalf of the public.”

The letter cites a June 2019 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a public statement by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai supporting a full repeal of the auction mandate.

“In communities across the country, T-Band users are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the organization wrote. “They are transporting patients, responding to emergency calls, and saving lives. We ask Congress to include the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (S. 2748/H.R. 451) in any legislative response to this ongoing crisis in order to preserve access to this critical communications resource.”

The letter was singed by the following organizations:
• International Association of Fire Chiefs
• International Association of Fire Fighters
• National Association of Counties
• National League of Cities
• The United States Conference of Mayors
• National Sheriffs’ Association
• Major Cities Chiefs Association
• Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International
• Congressional Fire Services Institute
• Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts
• Massachusetts METROFIRE
• Greater Boston Police Council
• National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
• Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System
• ICI System
• Enterprise Wireless Alliance
• Metro-Boston Urban Area Security Initiative
• City of Cambridge Public Safety

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more