In the waning hours of this year’s Congressional session, the House and Senate have passed legislation that orders the Department of Commerce to award $1 billion in previously-approved grants for “public safety interoperable communications” by Sept. 30, 2007. Those grants require local agencies to provide 20% matching to receive the grants, and use the new 700 MHz band for the radio system. As is common, the grant provision rode along on a bill that cut telephone rates for armed forces deployed abroad. Many other issues have to be worked out on the grants, including the criteria for awarding them.E-mail this story
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