The National Broadband Plan mus include designs to utilize broadband technologies to enhance public safety and protect homeland security. This should include a national effort to build a national 21st century telecommunications system that will provide for public safety and homeland security similar to the effort undertaken 50 years ago to build our National Interstate and Defense Highway system.
This effort should be guided by these overarching principles:
* First responders should have a single, nationwide, robust broadband communications system with technology based on open standards and redundant and resilient connections.
* All U.S. citizens should have access to emergency services and agencies using any device or mode commonly used in public communications.
* The network should provide emergency responders and citizens access to the information they need, when, where, and how they need it. Specifically, this effort should include:
- Ensuring that local, state, federal, and tribal statutes, regulations, and overall policies promote, rather than delay, the creation of this system;
- Directing the Department of Homeland Security to mandate interoperable, broadband-based systems in all communications-related grants; and
- Evaluating and, if effective, continuing the Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant Program at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.