Most Recent Government Affairs Stories
  • Aug15-3:19pm
    On August 10, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced his five-step action plan to chart the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1(?) (NG9-1-1(?)) services. Working with the public safety community, carriers, manufacturers and other service providers, Chairman Genachowski’s goal is to ensure that effective emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment.
  • Jul13-3:00pm

    On Monday, July 11, NENA filed a letter with the FCC endorsing the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA. This action, approved at the Executive Board’s March 28th meeting in Washington, D.C., recognizes AT&T’s historical commitment to advancing 9-1-1 service and the benefits of expanded coverage and higher broadband speeds that the public safety community and consumers will realize from the merger. A copy of the endorsement letter is available.

  • Jun10-11:35am

     On February 2, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (the Commission) amended its Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to provide for national testing of the EAS and the collection of data from such tests. Newly amended section 11.61(a)(3)(iii) of the Commission rules states in relevant part: “Notice shall be provided to EAS Participants by the Commission at least two months prior to the conduct of any … national test.” The Commission hereby provides notice to all EAS participants that the first nationwide test of the EAS will occur on November 9, 2011, at 2 PM EST.

    Read the full notice.

  • Jun08-6:30pm

    On June 8, NENA praised Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay-Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) for working together to include support for Next Generation 9-1-1(?) (NG9-1-1(?)) in the SPECTRUM Act. “This is a significant step in advancing our nation’s public safety services,” said NENA President, Steve O’Conor, ENP. “We are grateful to Senator Klobuchar for her fierce dedication to improving 9-1-1 systems across the United States, and to Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Hutchison for recognizing the central role of 9-1-1 in an integrated emergency communications environment.”

  • May27-7:00pm

    On May 27, the Congressional Research Service published a report entitled Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations. Topics covered in the paper include: governance and grants; decision making and planning authority; cost estimates; managing radio frequency spectrum; and Congressional legislation.

  • May12-5:44pm

    NENA applauds the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) May 12 action proposing network outage reporting requirements for interconnected Voice over IP (VoIP) and broadband Internet service providers. The proposed rules would not only require providers of these services to report outages that meet certain thresholds, but also enable the FCC to use real-world data to craft regulations that prevent future outages from occurring.

Washington 9-1-1 News

NENA Praises White House Commitment to Funding Public Safety Broadband

On June 29, NENA issued a statement in support of the White House's effort to provide funding for public safety broadband.

Click here to read the press release.

NENA CEO Testifies in Support of Next Generation 9-1-1(?) Preservation Act of 2010 and Public Safety Broadband Act of 2010

On June 17, NENA CEO Brian Fontes testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Click here to read the testimony.

Discussion Draft of Public Safety Broadband Act of 2010 Introduced

On June 15, a staff “discussion draft” of the Public Safety Broadband Act of 2010 was introduced. This is a bipartisan bill coming out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee primarily focusing on generating substantial funding for a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network.

Click here to read the draft.

E9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chairs Send Letter to FCC on 9-1-1 Fee Diversion

On June 15, the Co-Chairs of the E9-1-1 Caucus sent a letter to the FCC raising the issue of 9-1-1 fund diversions and asking the FCC to consider any jurisdictional it has, or may need, to address the issue.

Click here to read the letter.

FCC Releases Comprehensive Analysis on Network Capacity for Nationwide Mobile Public Safety Broadband Network

On June 15, the FCC released a report concerning their analysis of network capacity issues for a nationwide public safety broadband network.

Click here for the news release.

Click here for the capacity white paper report.

National Broadband Plan Support Letters

On May 24, NENA sent letters to the House and Senate expressing support for the many important public safety recommendations contained in the National Broadband Plan. As stated in the letter, while public safety’s spectrum needs are very important, there are many important recommendations in the NBP, particularly the need for sustainable funding, that are not receiving proper attention while the debate is only focused on the D Block and public safety spectrum needs.  Whether or not the D Block is ever allocated to public safety, our intent with this letter is to raise the profile of the recommendations contained in the National Broadband Plan that are supported by public safety, but, in our opinion, are not currently receiving sufficient attention (especially funding). 

Click here for the letter to the House.

Click here for the letter to the Senate.

NENA Urges Support for Funding Recommendations in National Broadand Plan

On May 18, NENA sent a letter to Larry Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), thanking NTIA for making available broadband stimulus funds for public safety wireless broadband projects.  In the letter, NENA urged NTIA and Congress to build on this initial step and fully support the funding recommendations contained in the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

NENA Letter

Senate Adopts 9-1-1 Education Month Resolution

On April 14, the United States Senate adopted Senate Resolution 482 recognizing April 2010 as "National 9-1-1 Education Month." The measure was co-sponsored by E9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Richard Burr (R-SC).

Next Generation 9-1-1 Preservation Act of 2010 (HR 4829 / S 3115) Introduced by E9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chairs

On Mar. 12 and 15, the Co-Chairs of the E9-1-1 Caucus introduced important the Next Generation 9-1-1 Preservation Act of 2010. The bipartisan House (HR 4829) and Senate (S 3115) bills are identical in language. Among other things, the bill reauthorizes the National 9-1-1 Office and a major 9-1-1 grant program and would make significant funds available for the transition to NG9-1-1(?). The legislation also requires the FCC to issue a Public Notice concerning E9-1-1 requirements for multi-line telephone systems.

FCC Releases National Broadband Plan
On March 16, the FCC submitted the National Broadband Plan to Congress, including significant recommendations concerning Next Generation 9-1-1 and the establishment of a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network. Public safety issues are covered in Chapter 16 of the Plan.  

Over 35 Public Safety Organizations Request Help of Congress to Prevent State 9-1-1 Fund Diversions
On March 10, NENA and over 35 other national and state public safety groups sent a letter to key members of Congress expressing our thanks for earlier legislative attempts to prevent State 9-1-1 fund diversions, and asking for additional assistance. Numerous states in 2009 and 2010 have already diverted 9-1-1 funds for unintended purposes, with legislation currently pending in some states, contrary to the intent of Congress.

Feb. 18 - FCC Outlines Public Safety Provisions In National Broadband Plan

On Feb. 18, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau outlined the public safety recommendations that are expected to be included in the National Broadband Plan. The recommendations address NG9-1-1, the establishment of a nationwide wireless public safety broadband network, emergency alerting and cybersecurity.

FCC Presentation (see slides 40-47)

NENA statement of support

Feb. 18 - FCC Announces New Date for Forum on Establishment of Emergency Response Interoperability Center

The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has rescheduled its public forum to discuss the creation of an emergency response interoperability center (ERIC) for public safety broadband communications.  The event will now be at the FCC on Tuesday, March 2 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

FCC Announcement

ERIC Concept Paper

Feb. 5 - FCC Seeks Information for Report on State 9-1-1 Fee Collection and Use

On Feb. 5, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking information on 9-1-1 fees collected by states and other jurisdictions pursuant to Section 101 of the Net 911 Improvement Act of 2008.  The Public Notice indicates that the FCC will mail letters to the various state and Tribal officials seeking specific information surrounding the collection of 9-1-1 fees, including those states that have diverted 9-1-1 revenues for unintended purposes.  The FCC is asking for a response by March 23, 2010.

Public Notice

Jan. 15 - NTIA/RUS Release Second Broadband Stimulus Notice of Funds Availability

On Jan. 15, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issued the second Notice of Funds Availability (NoFA) for their respective Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). The deadline for filing applications is March 15 More information on the programs is available at

Jan. 14 - NENA Comments On Potential Impact o 9-1-1 System of FCC "Open Internet" Proceeding

On Jan. 14, NENA submitted comments to the FCC in response to its Open Internet/Net Neutrality Notice of Inquiry.  NENA identified possible 9-1-1 implications of the proposed rules and urged the FCC to consider the potential effects on the 9-1-1 system by the proposed rules.

NENA Comments

Jan. 4 - NENA Provides Input to NHTSA 2010-2015 Strategic Plan

On Jan. 4, NENA submitted comments in response to a U.S. Department of Transportation Public Notice seeking suggestions on the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The agency, along with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), administers the National E9-1-1 Implementation and Coordination Office (ICO).

NENA comments

Dec. 21 - NENA Responds to FCC Notice Seeking Information on Transition from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to an All-IP World

On Dec. 21, NENA responded to an FCC Public Notice seeking comment on the types of issues the FCC should consider if it were to issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on the implications of the transition from the circuit-switched PSTN to an all IP-network. 

NENA comments

Dec. 11 - NTIA Urges the FCC to Include NG9-1-1 In National Broadband Plan

On Dec. 11, Larry Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the President's principle telecommunications advisor, sent a letter to the FCC encouraging the Commission to include provisions on the importance of NG9-1-1 in the National Broadband Plan.

NTIA letter


Dec. 8 - DHS Releases FY 2010 Grant Application Guidance 

On Dec. 8, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Application Guidance for 13 DHS grant programs, including the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) and the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). The release includes more than $2.7 billion available in Federal funding to assist State and local governments in strengthening preparedness. 

DHS FY 2010 Application Guidance

Overview of all the grant programsincluding purpose, eligible applicants, and program award descriptions.

Dec. 4 - NENA & APCO File Joint Wireless Location Accuracy Comments

On Dec. 4, NENA and APCO submitted wireless location accuracy comments to the FCC in reply to comments filed jointly by T-Mobile, the Rural Cellular Association, and the Rural Telecom Group.

NENA/APCO joint comments

Dec. 1 - NENA Responds to FCC Public Safety Broadband Notice # 14

On Dec. 1, NENA submitted comments to the FCC in response to a Public Notice seeking information on broadband deployment for public safety in rural and tribal areas, as well as information on broadband-enabled emergency services for individuals with disabilities.

NENA comments

Nov. 20 - NENA Files Wireless E9-1-1 Location Accuracy Requirements Comments with the FCC
On Nov. 20, NENA filed brief comments with the FCC indicating our continued support for the county level compliance approach that we supported last year.

NENA comments

Nov. 18 - NENA Offers Compromise on Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network

On Nov. 18, NENA reached out to other public safety organizations in an attempt to reach a consensus on legislation to enable a nationwide wireless public safety broadband network, including the critical issue of funding.

NENA letter

Nov. 12 - NENA Responds to FCC Public Safety Broadband Notice # 8

On Nov. 12, NENA submitted comments to the FCC in response to a Public Notice seeking information on NG9-1-1, public safety mobile broadband use, cyber security, and emergency alerting.

NENA comments

Nov. 5 - FCC Bureaus Address Internet-based TRS Geographic Numbering and E9-1-1 Issues

On November 5, the FCC’s Wireline Competition and Consumer & Government Affairs Bureaus issued an Order addressing the treatment of geographic numbers and certain aspects of the FCC’s 9-1-1 call handling requirements for two forms of Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) – Video Relay Service (VRS) and Internet-Protocol (IP) Relay.

Oct. 16 - NENA Files Comments on 700 MHz Public Safety Waiver Requests

On October 16, NENA filed comments concerning waiver requests by various state and regional public safety entities seeking to deploy wireless broadband networks in advance of the FCC's final rules on the 700MHz D block and the establishment of a nationwide wireless public safety broadband network. 

Sep. 28 - National 9-1-1 Office Awards Over $40 Million in 9-1-1 Grants

On September 28, the National E9-1-1 Implementation and Coordination Office (ICO) awarded over $40 million in grants to thirty states and territories.  The grants are for wireless Phase II E9-1-1 upgrades and the migration to IP-enabled 9-1-1 systems.

Press release

Sep. 24 - NENA CEO Testifies at Wireless Public Safety Broadband Network (D Block) Congressional Hearing

On September 24, the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet held a hearing titled “A National Interoperable Broadband Network For Public Safety:  Recent Developments.” Among the witnesses were NENA CEO Brian Fontes.


Aug. 14 - NENA Offers Principles and Alternative Proposals on Nation-wide Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network

On August 12, NENA submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski laying out principles and proposals for the Commission to consider as it deliberates on its next steps regarding the D Block and the establishment of a nation-wide public safety wireless broadband network.

NENA letter

Jun. 8 - NENA Responds to FCC National Broadband Plan Notice of Inquiry

NENA submitted comments in response to the FCC's National Broadband Plan Notice of Inquiry (NOI).  In the comments NENA stressed that the National Broadband Plan offers a significant opportunity to outline steps to foster the migration from analog, voice-centric 9-1-1 and emergency communications systems into a 21st century, next generation, IP broadband-based emergency services model that embraces a wide range of voice, video, and data applications.