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27 May 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) Information Technology (IT) sector has submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for an additional 10 MHz of public safety spectrum that will permit deployment of advanced broadband wireless applications needed by first responders.

“Wireless technology will rapidly change over the next three to four years as the transition is made to public safety,” said Mike Grady, chief technology officer, Northrop Grumman IT. “The adaptation of software defined radios and the reallocation of spectrum will address interoperability as well as adaptation of broadband services.”

This additional spectrum would further the national effort to adequately meet the critical emergency response and homeland security needs of public safety entities post-September 11; permit federal, state, and local government authorities to deploy advanced broadband wireless high-speed data applications; meet critical interoperability requirements; and serve the public interest. Additionally, allocation of this spectrum would make possible the Department of Homeland Security’s strategic vision for a converged, high-speed wireless network for public safety and law enforcement.

“While the commercial world continues to move toward third-generation broadband wireless technologies, the public safety and law enforcement community is prevented from taking advantage of any updated applications because the present public safety spectrum allocation cannot be used to wireless initiatives, Northrop Grumman IT TASC. “The situation is especially hazardous to first responders given their paramount role in homeland security and fighting terrorism.”

Northrop Grumman IT has urged the FCC to consider the relative merits and viability of particular spectrum bands to meet this need, and to identify spectrum to establish a nationwide, Internet Protocol-based, interoperable communications network that will support broadband services. Specifically, Northrop Grumman IT has requested the FCC to seek comment on the provision of an additional 10 MHz of spectrum, located below three GHz, preferably at 747-752 and 777-782 MHz or elsewhere in the 700 MHz Band.

“Any new allocation of public safety spectrum in the 700 MHz Band must enable use of advanced, ‘next-generation’ broadband technologies that are available today that Congress may not have envisioned when it allocated public safety spectrum in 1997,” Grady added. Northrop Grumman is seeking expeditious treatment of its request by the FCC to release this document to the industry for comment.

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