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Monday, November 11, 2013

Ensuring Coordination and Cooperation: A Review of Emergency Communications Offices Within the Department of Homeland Security

Linda K. Moore
Specialist in Telecommunications Policy

Chairman Bilirakis, Ranking Member Richardson, and members of the Subcommittee, I am honored to be testifying before you today on behalf of the Congressional Research Service. My name is Linda Moore and for the past ten years my responsibilities at CRS have included providing Congress with information and analysis regarding emergency communications, including 911, the Emergency Alert System, and radio communications for first responders. My testimony today provides an overview of key provisions in legislation passed since September 11, 2001 that have addressed radio communications interoperability and operability for public safety agencies. This testimony is based on CRS reports and memoranda written during the period 2002 through 2011.

Prior to September 11, 2001, meeting the communications needs of first responders was primarily a local or state responsibility. The federal government provided some assistance and support. For example, in 1997, Congress instructed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assign additional radio frequency spectrum capacity for public safety, based on recommendations by the federally sponsored Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee.

Date of Report: November 17, 2011
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: T-111711
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