Congress Called to Reallocate D-block Spectrum in Aftermath of Earthquake

Washington, DC – The National Association of Counties (NACo) and National League of Cities (NLC) today renewed their call to Congress to reallocate 700MHz D-Block spectrum for a national interoperable broadband network for public safety.

As the events of the Aug. 23 earthquake unfolded, it was clear that the commercial wireless networks were unable to handle the sudden surge of calls being made to loved ones and friends.

This needlessly put the public at risk because first responders and other public safety officials were unable to rely on these communications networks in the critical moments after the earthquake:

Most networks simply ceased to accept calls at all. People were urged to text rather than make voice calls because of the huge demand for spectrum. While it is unreasonable to expect commercial networks to engineer their systems for this surge capacity, it is also unreasonable to suggest public safety can rely on such networks in an emergency.

This is why Congress must set aside tangential concerns and immediately pass legislation to reallocate 700MHz D-block spectrum for a national interoperable broadband network for public safety. Under existing law, failure to act will lead to the D-Block being allocated for auction to the highest bidder and would thereby continue to leave public safety workers in harm’s way 10 years after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

Click here for NACo’s D-Block Spectrum Fact Sheet

Click here for NLC’s D-Block Resolution

About NACo

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.

For more information about NACo, visit

About NLC

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

For more information, go to

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