WHEREAS, Section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Title VI of Pub. L. 112-96) mandates the Federal Communications Commission begin an auction of the T-Band spectrum in the 470-512 MHz band allocated to public safety by February 21, 2021, and clear public safety users from the band within two years of auction close; and
WHEREAS, the T-Band spectrum is available for public safety use within a 50-mile radius of the following metropolitan centers: Boston; Dallas; Chicago; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Pittsburgh; New York City; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; and San Francisco; and
WHEREAS, the public safety community in a number of these areas has spent many years and millions in federal, state and local taxpayer funds to deploy hardened public safety T-Band networks to meet the mission critical voice requirements specific to each area; and
WHEREAS, these urban areas face threats for which expeditious communications is essential to protect both public safety personnel and the general public; and
WHEREAS, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), of which IACP is a governing board member, conducted comprehensive studies and issued reports that address the significant negative impact of requiring public safety to relocate out of the T-Band, as required in Section 6103; and
WHEREAS, the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (H.R. 451), a bill to repeal the Section 6103 auction and public safety relocation requirements was introduced in Congress in January 2019; and a companion in Senate Bill S. 2748; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has studied the T-Band issue and issued its report GAO-19-508 in June 2019 entitled “Required Auction of Public Safety Spectrum Could Harm First Responders;” and
WHEREAS, the GAO report concluded that the methodology and conclusions from the NPSTC report are reasonable; and
WHEREAS, the GAO report recommended that “Congress should consider legislation allowing public safety users continued use of the T-Band spectrum.”1 Now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) supports the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (H.R. 451) and Senate Bill S.2748 and the passage of legislation this year consistent with H.R. 451 and S. 2748 to repeal Section 6103 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Title VI of Pub. L. 112-96).
Submitted by: Communications & Technology Committee
1 U.S. Government Accountability Office, Required Auction of Public Safety Spectrum Could Harm First Responders (2019), 25, https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/699916.pdf.