(AP) -- Federal regulators will recommend that Congress devote up to $16 billion over 10 years to pay for a nationwide wireless broadband network that would allow police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers to communicate with each other.
The Federal Communications Commission will propose that lawmakers establish a $6 billion grant program to build the public safety network, plus a $6 billion to $10 billion grant program to operate and upgrade the network.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that the proposal will be part of the agency's national broadband plan, which is due to Congress next month and will lay out a roadmap for bringing high-speed Internet connections to all Americans.
The proposed public safety network would use wireless spectrum freed up by television broadcasters following last year's transition from analog to digital broadcasts.
Explore further: FCC chairman warns of 'looming spectrum crisis' (Update)