COMMISSION DE SERVICES POLICIERS D’OTTAWA
Working together for a safer community
La sécurité de notre communauté, un travail d’équipe
DATE 26 November 2012
TO/DEST. Chair and Members of the Ottawa Police Services Board
FROM/EXP. Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board
SUBJECT/OBJET 700 MHz BROADBAND FOR PUBLIC SAFETY USE
That the Ottawa Police Services Board write to the Federal Minister of Industry and copy the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Finance, expressing support for the designation of an additional 10 MHz in the 700MHz (D block) broadband spectrum for use by public safety agencies.
On 28 March 2011 the Ottawa Police Services Board approved the following resolution:
That the Ottawa Police Services Board:
1. Endorse the resolution approved by the Chairs of the “Big 12” Police Services Boards calling on the Federal and Provincial governments to dedicate and reserve 20 MHz of the 700 MHz broadband for mission critical broadband data use by public safety agencies; and
2. Convey its support to the Federal and Provincial Ministers responsible for Public Safety, Industry Canada and the Premier of Ontario.
A copy of the Board’s letter dated 30 March 2011 conveying its support is attached at Annex A.
Following the lobbying effort by the public safety community including the Canadian Association of Police Boards, the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, and the “Big 12” Ontario police services boards, the Federal Government committed 10 MHz of the broadband for public safety use, which went part way to achieving success. Industry Canada is now receiving submissions regarding the commitment of the additional 10 MHz the public safety community has requested. Public Safety Canada, on behalf of the 700 MHz Project Management Team, has coordinated a response to the Industry Canada consultation that reflects the views of the Canadian public safety community. The “Joint Response by Federal, Provincial, Territorial Authorities and Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the First Responders Community” submitted by Public Safety Canada continues to emphasize the need for 20 MHz of the broadband spectrum to be set aside for public safety, and strongly opposes Industry Canada engaging in any commercial auction of that portion of the spectrum.
This remains a critical issue. The Peel Regional Police Services Board has already written to Industry Canada, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Finance to support the position outlined in the Public Safety Canada response. They have invited other Big 12 police services boards to join them in voicing support for an additional 10 MHz of broadband spectrum to be committed for public safety use, and it is recommended that the Ottawa Police Services Board do so.
There is no direct financial impact associated with this report.
The commitment of 20 MHz of the 700 MHz broadband is crucial to the future of public safety in Canada and is the only way to ensure robust, modern, reliable public safety inoperable networks. This dedicated band of spectrum would accommodate the everyday needs of police officers, firefighters and paramedics, and provide excess capacity during times of emergency. It will also provide for harmonization with the United States plan, which has set aside 20 MHz for public safety in the same bands. This will allow for coordination along border areas and the ability to lever commercial interests to design equipment and applications that would be usable in both countries, thereby generating economies of scale and lowering costs.
(original signed by)