Congress will find the funds to build a new nationwide broadband network for first responders, Vice President Biden told a White House briefing yesterday, says the New York Daily News. The briefing discussed plans for a modern network that can handle maps, building plans and video – saving time and lives in emergencies. The coming 10th anniversary of 9/11, when radios failed firefighters at the World Trade Center, has Washington under pressure to act.
“I’m telling you, the money is going to be there, in terms of the long-term, overall budget deal we’re working on,” Biden said. Recently, 9/11 Commissioner Lee Hamilton called the issue “a no-brainer” and the government’s biggest failure since the attacks. The proposed network would occupy spectrum freed up by 2009’s switch from analog to more efficient digital television. That year the Federal Communications Commission tried to auction off a block of the spectrum for the new network, but the recession and doubts about profitability kept bids too low.