Recently, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), local elected officials and local first responders highlighted the passage and signing into law of the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act, which saves local first responders’ vital communications spectrum, known as T-Band.
“In the most dire of circumstances, the T-Band spectrum provides critical communications between first responders. Even when you have cell phones, internet, and electricity ceasing to function, T-band can serve as the last line of defense. Our first responders have spent years and hundreds of million of dollars to place and build out what is a battle tested communications system and rely on it to serve our communities in need,” said Congressman Zeldin. “After years of working together at every level of government and across the aisle in the House and Senate to show a bipartisan, united front on this effort to save T-Band, the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act was included in Congress’ year end spending bill, which was passed in December of last month. It was also recently signed into law.”
Watch Rep. Lee Zeldin’s full remarks here.
“As both an elected official and a first responder, I see first hand every day how important clear and dependable communication is, and this legislation will first off absolutely help save lives,” said Brookhaven Councilman Mike Loguercio. “And in addition to saving lives, which is the most important thing, it will also save millions of dollars to the taxpayers.”
Watch Brookhaven Councilman Mike Loguercio’s full remarks here.
“To lose [T-Band], and have to replace it…there was nowhere to go, there was no radio frequency to replace everything we were using,” said District Supervisor of Brentwood Fire District and New York State Association of Fire Chiefs Chief of Operations Myles Quinn. “The burden on our taxpayers would have been phenomenal.”
Watch Brentwood Fire Department District Supervisor Myles Quinn’s full remarks here.
“If this had not passed, and we had to do away with the T-band, it would have devastated the East End,” said Riverhead Councilman Tim Hubbard. “We don’t have that kind of money for infrastructure to put a new system in. It would have been awful.”
Watch Riverhead Councilman Tim Hubbard’s full remarks here.
“There was no frequency even available for us if [T-band] got sold off,” said Selden Fire District Manager & Suffolk County Fire Chiefs Association Secretary Jay Egan. “How would we ever replace it?”
Watch Selden Fire District Manager Jay Egan’s full remarks here.
“We helped protect the health and safety of residents throughout New York State and throughout the country with the passing of this bill,” said Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle. “The changeover of getting rid of T-band would have absolutely destroyed the communications that our first responders really need to have and being able to get this done, it really not only saved money, it’s going to save lives.”
Watch Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle’s full remarks here.
“I was invited to fire commission meetings in the past couple years, and I know that [losing T-band]was heavily on their minds,” said Smithtown Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo. “Just to see their faces talking about not having it and expressing how this actually saves lives and how important it is for response time, it made me realize how important this is.”
Watch Smithtown Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo’s full remarks here.
The T-Band is a portion of spectrum used in 11 heavily populated metropolitan areas, including New York, covering over 90 million Americans, to support critical public safety communications (i.e. police, fire and other first responder’s radios) and provide regional interoperability among first responders. This battle-tested public safety network provides resilient coverage, reliability and regional interoperability. This spectrum is essential to public safety and for many public safety entities there is nowhere else to move.
This legislation, introduced by Congressman Zeldin, alongside then-Congressmen Eliot Engel (D, NY-16) and Peter King (R, NY-2), in February 2018, was included in Congress’ newly enacted appropriations bill and repealed the provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 which mandated the sale of the T-Band spectrum. Following the passage of this legislation, law-enforcement, fire officials, and EMS can continue using the T-Band spectrum to operate their radios for day-to-day life saving operations.