A bill introduced last week by Sen. Kerry (D-Mass.) would require the Homeland Security Dept. and the FCC to evaluate the technical feasibility of creating a back-up communications system for emergency responders. The bill said the goal would be to frame development of an interoperable emergency communications system by evaluating "all reasonable options, including satellites, wireless, and terrestrial-based communications systems... that can be used in tandem with existing technologies." The bill would mandate a survey of all federal agencies using terrestrial or satellite technology for communications security. It also would require evaluation of the feasibility of using private satellite, wireless, or terrestrial networks for emergency communications -- including a full inventory of existing public and private resources "most efficiently capable of providing emergency communications." The bill, the "Communications Security Act of 2005," would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It was referred last Wed. to the Committee on Homeland Security and Govt. Affairs.
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