The proposal, by Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, focuses on clearing spectrum for mobile broadband uses.
But would stop mobile voice deployments by public safety agencies now happening in the 700MHz spectrum band, and it would auction off the so-called D block of spectrum in that band, instead of turning it over to public safety agencies, as many police and fire departments have long advocated, said Christopher Moore, chief of police in San Jose, California.
"We cannot support this draft legislation," Moore told the committee's communications subcommittee. "We are not here asking for the spectrum and funding to make a profit. We are here asking for spectrum and funding in order for us to better serve and protect the American people."
Other critics told the subcommittee they opposed the Republican spectrum proposal because it would limit the authority of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to conduct auctions of spectrum from television stations and it would make it difficult for the FCC to reserve spectrum for unlicensed uses.
Public safety agencies have been awaiting a nationwide network since the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., when responding agencies to the attacks couldn't communicate with each other because of incompatible equipment using multiple bands of spectrum.