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Regulators propose grant program for public safety

Nationwide broadband wireless network would connect cops and other first responders

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators will recommend that Congress establish a grant program to fund a nationwide wireless broadband network that would allow police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers to communicate with each other.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing $16 billion to $18 billion in grants over 10 years. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that the proposal will be part of the agency's national broadband plan. That plan, due to Congress next month, 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.

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