Skip to main content

Bloomberg Backs Incentive Auctions

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in support of the public safety/broadcaster incentive auctions bill that passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee this week. The bill would both create an interoperable broadband public safety network and fund that by authorizing the FCC to compensate broadcasters for moving off the spectrum.

That is according to a letter from Bloomberg released by the office of bill sponsor and Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).

"I am writing in strong support of S. 911, the Strengthening Public-Safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization (SPECTRUM) Act, a bipartisan initiative crucial to the future of public safety in the United States," the mayor wrote.

Bloomberg is squarely on the side of allocating the D block for that public safety net, rather than auctioning for a public private public safety partnership, as several Republicans have backed. Those Republicans do not include Rep. Peter King of New York, however, who backs allocation.

Rockefeller's goal is to get the bill passed and to the president before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, an event that drives Bloomberg's support as well.

"In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans came to understand that a commitment to comprehensive improvement in our system of emergency communications is an essential element of our national security," the mayor wrote. "As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we can no longer afford to leave this issue-one of the key areas of focus of the 9/11 Commission-unaddressed. Legislation setting aside a dedicated portion of the 700 MHz spectrum for public safety officials for a nationwide interoperable network-known as the D Block-must be passed immediately to aid first responders across the country and at every level in saving countless lives and ensuring homeland security."