Improving Public Safety Communications: An Analysis of Alternative Approaches

43 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2011  

Jeffrey A. Eisenach

American Enterprise Institute; NERA Economic Consulting

Peter Cramton

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Thomas S. Dombrowsky Jr.

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Allan T. Ingraham

Economists Incorporated; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hal J. Singer

Economists Incorporated

Date Written: February 6, 2007

Abstract

There is a broad consensus that the communication capabilities of America’s public safety agencies need to be improved. Public safety communications systems are not interoperable, making it difficult for agencies to communicate with one another. Moreover, these systems generally do not provide the broadband capabilities that are increasingly commonplace in commercial cell phones.

In December 2006, the FCC proposed a “national, centralized approach to maximize public safety access to interoperable, broadband spectrum.” The FCC plan aimed to ensure efficient and effective use of the spectrum provided to public safety, while promoting “the deployment of advanced broadband applications, related radio technologies, and modern, IP-based architectures.” In 2007, a company called Cyren Call proposed allocating of an additional 30 MHz of spectrum to construct a nationwide broadband network which would be used for both commercial and public safety purposes.

This paper presents our analysis of the Cyren Call proposal. We find that the plan suffers from serious flaws, and that its adoption would not result in more effective communications solutions for public safety. In addition, we find that sufficient spectrum has already been allocated for public safety use, and that more efficient spectrum management and the adoption of modern wireless technology can provide the interoperability and advanced capabilities public safety agencies need.

Suggested Citation

Eisenach, Jeffrey A. and Cramton, Peter and Dombrowsky, Thomas S. and Ingraham, Allan T. and Singer, Hal J., Improving Public Safety Communications: An Analysis of Alternative Approaches (February 6, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1948535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1948535

Jeffrey A. Eisenach (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

NERA Economic Consulting

1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-466-3510 (Phone)
202-466-3605 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nera.com

Peter C. Cramton

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-6987 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

Thomas S. Dombrowsky Jr.

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Allan T. Ingraham

Economists Incorporated ( email )

2121 K St NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-747-3540 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.naviganteconomics.com

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hal J. Singer

Economists Incorporated ( email )

2121 K Street N.W.
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-747-3520 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ei.com/viewprofessional.php?id=71

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