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Congress Approves Payroll Tax Report With Spectrum Provisions For 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Network Allows Public Safety to Share Spectrum with Utilities and Other Secondary Users


Washington, DC—Hours ago, Congress approved the payroll tax conference report.  By a vote of 293-132 in the House and 60-36 in the Senate, the bill will now be sent to President Obama for his signature.

Utilities and other critical infrastructure communications (CII) will now be able to access the 700 MHz public safety broadband network (PSBN) and infrastructure under leasing provisions in the bill.  This will help utilities and CII alleviate the problems that they have been facing in terms of meeting increasing demands for higher bandwidth applications and coverage into remote areas that are not currently served by commercial service providers.  It finally resolves the issue presently before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):  whether the public safety 700 MHz spectrum could be shared by those outside the public safety community to cost-savings, more efficient spectrum use and more rapid deployment.

Connie Durcsak, President and CEO of the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), stated that “We applaud Congress on approving this report.  For years, UTC has advocated that utilities need access to sufficient spectrum to support their mission critical operations and to meet the overarching national policy objectives of energy independence and security.  Congress’s action today makes it possible for utilities to access the high quality spectrum that they urgently need.”

Utility telecommunications is integral to reliable and secure utility services. UTC is the premier trade association navigating the convergence of telecommunications, operations and information technology to identify, innovate and enable mission critical solutions for essential utility services.  Since 1948, UTC is the source and resource for information and communications tec

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