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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
March 6, 2007
(202) 289-8928
Panelists Confirmed for Public Safety Spectrum Event
March 9th Seminar to Explore Public Safety Communications Policy

WASHINGTON D.C. - How to best reform public safety communications remains hotly debated in Congress, as illustrated by legislation introduced last week proposing to auction off spectrum conditional on it being used for public safety. Policymakers, industry, and advocacy groups for first responders have all offered policy suggestions to ensure effective and reliable communications between emergency personnel, ranging from additional spectrum allotment and funding to nationwide broadband service provided by private companies. These proposals regarding spectrum use for public safety will be discussed this Friday at "Public Safety Communications: Time for a New Approach," a congressional seminar hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation.

The discussion panel, moderated by Scott Wallsten, PFF Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies, gathers representatives from a variety of parties, including those directly affected by public safety communications policy. Steven Jones is Executive Director of the First Response Coalition. The coalition seeks to ensure comprehensive public policy for communication and coordination between first responders. Janice Obuchowski is Chairman of Frontline Wireless and has held various positions in the U.S. government, including Ambassador to the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference. Frontline Wireless recently filed comments with the FCC urging the Commission to allocate analog television spectrum for a public-safety wireless network.

Several experts on spectrum policy will also speak. Michael Gallagher, Partner at Perkins Cole, LLP, is a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communication and Information and Director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. While at the Department of Commerce, Gallagher took a lead role in the administration’s spectrum policy. Jeff Eisenach, Chairman of Criterion Economics, has authored many books and articles on economics and regulatory policy, including a new coauthored paper analyzing new approaches to public safety communications. Eisenach is also a co-founder of The Progress & Freedom Foundation. Michael Calabrese, Vice President of the New America Foundation, is Director of the foundation’s Wireless Future Program. Calabrese frequently speaks on spectrum issues and has testified before Congress on the upcoming digital television transition.

"Public Safety Communications: Time for a New Approach," will be held Friday, March 9th from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm in Room B338 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Lunch will be served. Those interested in attending can register here. Media queries should be directed to Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or Others should contact Jane Creel at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation