| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2821 (is) To amend chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, to make certain temporary Federal service performed for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation creditable for retirement purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 2821 (is) To amend chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, to make certain temporary Federal service performed for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation creditable for retirement purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2820 To ensure the availability of certain spectrum for public safety entities by amending the Communications Act of 1934 to establish January 1, 2009, as the date by which the transition to digital television shall be completed, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 21, 2004 Mr. McCain introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To ensure the availability of certain spectrum for public safety entities by amending the Communications Act of 1934 to establish January 1, 2009, as the date by which the transition to digital television shall be completed, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Spectrum Availability for Emergency-Response and Law-Enforcement To Improve Vital Emergency Services Act'' or the ``SAVE LIVES Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Findings. Sec. 3. Setting a specific date for the availability of spectrum for public safety organizations and creating a deadline for the transition to digital television. Sec. 4. Studies of communications capabilities and needs. Sec. 5. Statutory authority for the Department of Homeland Security's ``SAFECOM'' program. Sec. 6. Grant program to provide enhanced interoperability of communications for first responders. Sec. 7. Digital transition public safety communications grant and consumer assistance fund. Sec. 8. Digital transition program. Sec. 9. Label requirement for analog television sets. Sec. 10. Report on consumer education program requirements. Sec. 11. FCC to issue decision in certain proceedings. Sec. 12. Definitions. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) In its final report, the 9-11 Commission advocated that Congress pass legislation providing for the expedited and increased assignment of radio spectrum for public safety purposes. The 9-11 Commission stated that this spectrum was necessary to improve communications between local, State and Federal public safety organizations and public safety organizations operating in neighboring jurisdictions that may respond to an emergency in unison. (2) Specifically, the 9-11 Commission report stated ``The inability to communicate was a critical element at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Somerset County, Pennsylvania, crash sites, where multiple agencies and multiple jurisdictions responded. The occurrence of this problem at three very different sites is strong evidence that compatible and adequate communications among public safety organizations at the local, State, and Federal levels remains an important problem.''. (3) In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the Congress directed the FCC to allocate spectrum currently being used by television broadcasters to public safety agencies to use for emergency communications. This spectrum has specific characteristics that make it an outstanding choice for emergency communications because signals sent over these frequencies are able to penetrate walls and travel great distances, and can assist multiple jurisdictions in deploying interoperable communications systems. (4) This spectrum will not be fully available to public safety agencies until the completion of the digital television transition. The need for this spectrum is greater than ever. The Nation cannot risk further loss of life due to public safety agencies' first responders' inability to communicate effectively in the event of another terrorist act or other crisis, such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, or earthquake. (5) In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress set a date of December 31, 2006, for the termination of the digital television transition. Under current law, however, the deadline will be extended if fewer than 85 percent of the television households in a market are able to continue receiving local television broadcast signals. (6) Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell testified at a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on September 8, 2004, that, absent government action, this extension may allow the digital television transition to continue for ``decades'' or ``multiples of decades''. (7) The Nation's public safety and welfare cannot be put off for ``decades'' or ``multiples of decades''. The Federal government should ensure that this spectrum is available for use by public safety organizations by January 1, 2009. (8) Any plan to end the digital television transition would be incomplete if it did not ensure that consumers would be able to continue to enjoy over-the-air broadcast television with minimal disruption. If broadcasters air only a digital signal, some consumers may be unable to view digital transmissions using their analog-only television set. Local broadcasters are truly an important part of our homeland security and often an important communications vehicle in the event of a national emergency. Therefore, consumers who rely on over-the-air television, particularly those of limited economic means, should be assisted. (9) The New America Foundation has testified before Congress that the cost to assist these 17.4 million exclusively over-the-air households to continue to view television is less than $1 billion dollars for equipment, which equates to roughly 3 percent of the Federal revenue likely from the auction of the analog television spectrum. (10) Specifically, the New America Foundation has estimated that the Federal Government's auction of this spectrum could yield $30-to-$40 billion in revenue to the Treasury. Chairman Powell stated at the September 8, 2004, hearing that ``estimates of the value of that spectrum run anywhere from $30 billion to $70 billion''. (11) Additionally, there will be societal benefits with the return of the analog broadcast spectrum. Former FCC Chairman Reed F. Hundt, at an April 28, 2004, hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, testified that this spectrum ``should be the fit and proper home of wireless broadband''. Mr. Hundt continued, ``Quite literally, [with this spectrum] the more millions of people in rural America will be able to afford Big Broadband Internet access, the more hundreds of millions of people in the world will be able to afford joining the Internet community.''. (12) Due to the benefits that would flow to the Nation's citizens from the Federal Government reclaiming this analog television spectrum--including the safety of our Nation's first responders and those protected by first responders, additional revenues to the Federal treasury, millions of new jobs in the telecommunications sector of the economy, and increased wireless broadband availability to our Nation's rural citizens--Congress finds it necessary to set January 1, 2009, as a firm date for the return of this analog television spectrum. SEC. 3. SETTING A SPECIFIC DATE FOR THE AVAILABILITY OF SPECTRUM FOR PUBLIC SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS AND CREATING A DEADLINE FOR THE TRANSITION TO DIGITAL TELEVISION. (a) In General.--Section 309(j)(14) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)(14)) is amended-- (1) by striking ``2006.'' in subparagraph (A) and inserting ``2008.''; (2) by striking subparagraph (B) and redesignating subparagraphs (C) and (D) as subparagraphs (B) and (C); (3) by striking ``subparagraph (A) or (B),'' in subparagraph (B), as redesignated, and inserting ``subparagraph (A),''; and (4) by striking ``subparagraph (C)(i),'' in subparagraph (C), as redesignated, and inserting ``subparagraph (B)(i),''. (b) Certain Commercial Use Spectrum.--The Commission shall assign the spectrum described in section 337(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 337(a)(2)) allocated for commercial use by competitive bidding pursuant to section 309(j) of that Act (47 U.S.C. 309(j)) no later than 1 year after the Commission transmits the report required by section 4(a) to the Congress. SEC. 4. STUDIES OF COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES AND NEEDS. (a) In General.--The Commission, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall conduct a study to assess strategies that may be used to meet public safety communications needs, including-- (1) the short-term and long-term need for additional spectrum allocation for Federal, State, and local first responders, including an additional allocation of spectrum in the 700 megaHertz band; (2) the need for a nationwide interoperable broadband mobile communications network; (3) the ability of public safety entities to utilize wireless broadband applications; and (4) the communications capabilities of first receivers such as hospitals and health care workers, and current efforts to promote communications coordination and training among the first responders and the first receivers. (b) Reallocation Study.--The Commission shall conduct a study to assess the advisability of reallocating any amount of spectrum in the 700 megaHertz band for unlicensed broadband uses. In the study, the Commission shall consider all other possible users of this spectrum, including public safety. (c) Report.--The Commission shall report the results of the studies, together with any recommendations it may have, to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act. SEC. 5. STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S ``SAFECOM'' PROGRAM. Section 302 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 182) is amended-- (1) by inserting ``(a) In General.--'' before ``The''; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``(b) SAFECOM Authorized.-- ``(1) In general.--In carrying out subsection (a), the Under Secretary shall establish a program to address the interoperability of communications devices used by Federal, State, tribal, and local first responders, to be known as the Wireless Public Safety Interoperability Communications Program, or `SAFECOM'. The Under Secretary shall coordinate the program with the Director of the Department of Justice's Office of Science and Technology and all other Federal programs engaging in communications interoperability research, development, and funding activities to ensure that the program takes into account, and does not duplicate, those programs or activities. ``(2) Components.--The program established under paragraph (1) shall be designed-- ``(A) to provide research on the development of a communications system architecture that would ensure the interoperability of communications devices among Federal, State, tribal, and local officials that would enhance the potential for a coordinated response to a national emergency; ``(B) to support the completion and promote the adoption of mutually compatible voluntary consensus standards developed by a standards development organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ensure such interoperability; and ``(C) to provide for the development of a model strategic plan that could be used by any State or region in developing its communications interoperability plan. ``(3) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this subsection-- ``(A) $22,105,000 for fiscal year 2005; ``(B) $22,768,000 for fiscal year 2006; ``(C) $23,451,000 for fiscal year 2007; ``(D) $24,155,000 for fiscal year 2008; and ``(E) $24,879,000 for fiscal year 2009. ``(c) National Baseline Study of Public Safety Communications Interoperability.--By December 31, 2005, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology shall complete a study to develop a national baseline for communications interoperability and develop common grant guidance for all Federal grant programs that provide communications-related resources or assistance to State and local agencies, any Federal programs conducting demonstration projects, providing technical assistance, providing outreach services, providing standards development assistance, or conducting research and development with the public safety community with respect to wireless communications. The Under Secretary shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce containing the Under Secretary's findings, conclusions, and recommendations from the study.''. SEC. 6. GRANT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE ENHANCED INTEROPERABILITY OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS. (a) In General.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a program to help State, local, tribal, and regional first responders acquire and deploy interoperable communications equipment, purchase such equipment, and train personnel in the use of such equipment. The Secretary, in cooperation with the heads of other Federal departments and agencies who administer programs that provide communications- related assistance programs to State, local, and tribal public safety organizations, shall develop and implement common standards to the greatest extent practicable. (b) Applications.--To be eligible for assistance under the program, a State, local, tribal, or regional first responder agency shall submit an application, at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology may require, including-- (1) a detailed explanation of how assistance received under the program would be used to improve local communications interoperability and ensure interoperability with other appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, and regional agencies in a regional or national emergency; (2) assurance that the equipment and system would-- (A) not be incompatible with the communications architecture developed under section 302(b)(2)(A) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002;
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