Senate panel OKs bill for first responder wireless network

Public safety officials could share messages and data


By Lydia Mulvany
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — On Sept. 11, 2001, firefighters and police officers rushed to the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. When a collapse was imminent, emergency responders couldn't communicate that with one another because of their equipment, which had different bandwidths and frequencies. Those who didn't get the message died.

Nearly 10 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a Senate panel on Wednesday advanced a bill that would give public safety officials access to a nationwide wireless, interoperable broadband network.

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