Resolving years of debate about how to improve public safety communication nationwide, both houses of Congress have passed payroll-tax legislation to reallocate the 700 MHz D Block spectrum to first responders and provide $7 billion in federal grant money for the deployment of a dedicated nationwide public safety wireless broadband network. President Obama is expected to approve the legislation.

“This is going to transform public-safety communications the same way that two-way radio did in the 1930s,” said Charles Dowd, deputy chief for the New York City Police Department. “That’s how big of a change this is going to be.”

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