During a keynote at the National Press Club, former FEMA Director and CEO of Witt Associates James Lee Witt joined a broad-based group of stakeholders calling for a public auction of valuable 700 MHz spectrum as the most efficient and effective way to ensure construction of a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for our nation’s first responders.

Witt was joined by a panel of experts from industry, public safety and public interest spectrum groups including Dennis Roberson, former CTO of Motorola; John Kneuer, former Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at NTIA; Joe Hanna, former President of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO); Harold Feld, Legal Director of Public Knowledge; and Steven Berry, President and CEO of the Rural Cellular Association (RCA).

The event was sponsored by Connect Public Safety Now, a broad-based coalition of wireless broadband providers, rural communications groups, public interest organizations and think tanks, advocating for a public auction of the D Block as articulated in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. Two leading organizations representing first responders, the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters, have also expressed public support for an auction of the D Block.

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GCI Eyes Bethel Expansion

GCI and Tribal health organization Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation have plans to apply for a $53 million NTIA grant for a project that would bring fiber internet to Bethel, Alaska. The project, to be

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