White House seeks spectrium for public safety

January 27, 2011 By JOELLE TESSLER , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- The Obama administration is throwing its support behind a plan to give a valuable chunk of radio waves to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers to build nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety.

The announcement by the White House is a big victory for public safety officials, who have been lobbying aggressively for the wireless spectrum. They want to use it as the foundation for an "interoperable" broadband network that would let first responders across different agencies and different jurisdictions communicate with each other - a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission .

And it is a setback for several big , including T-Mobile USA and , which are eager to expand their spectrum holdings and want to see the airwaves auctioned off to the wireless industry.

Explore further: FCC, public safety at odds over broadband plan

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