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September 30, 2003
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Interference - A Problem Requiring an Immediate Solution

What is Interference?

Currently, police officers, fire fighters, and emergency response personnel sometimes experience interference – garbled, fuzzy or blocked calls over their radios. A key reason this occurs is because public safety channels are intermingled among and adjacent to commercial channels. Clear communication is a critical part of public safety professionals'' ability to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. Without this mission-critical tool, lives are at risk.

How Common is Interference?

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Interference is a growing problem, with 2003 on pace to be the worst year on record. 51 individual public safety agencies have reported interference at 117 different locations through April 30, 2003.

Why the Recent Increase in Interference?

When the current spectrum configuration was originally conceived, no one anticipated today’s level of demand for wireless technology or the increasing demand on public safety communications. But as wireless systems have evolved and the demands on public safety have grown, so has interference.

Is There a Solution?

The public safety community and leading private wireless organizations have joined together in submitting to the FCC a Consensus Plan for improving the spectrum environment at 800 MHz.

The Consensus Plan will realign the current jumbled licensing of 800 MHz systems into separate blocks of spectrum for public safety and wireless carriers. This will virtually eliminate public safety interference, provide additional spectrum to public safety and offer a future platform for communications networks that are needed to protect our communities.

The Consensus Plan is the only viable solution to putting an end to interference. We urge you to join those on the front lines and help eliminate interference that first responders face – Support the Consensus Plan.

For more information on Project Consensus, visit

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