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Peninsula Congresswoman Celebrates Funding For New Emergency Network

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Palo Alto Congresswoman Anna Eshoo was joined on Monday by San Jose's police and fire department's top brass. They celebrated a national wireless broadband communications network that has now received funding.

The high-tech network was the last recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Report that will allow police and firefighters to talk to one another freely. This was previously something they couldn't do during the September 11th terrorist attacks. As a result, lives may have been lost.

The network is being paid for with $7 billion set aside from a larger legislative package called, "The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act." In addition, money was raised by the auction of wireless spectrum previously used by television stations.

KCBS' Matt Bigler Reports:

"Emergency responders will have access to applications to make communications and information sharing as dynamic as those available for the iPhone or the Droid," said Eshoo about the new capabilities.

San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore, who went to Washington to lobby for the network, said it can't come soon enough.

"Right now our existing radio networks are expensive. There are one-offs all across the country. This is our opportunity to become more efficient in how we do business," said Moore.

$115 million is also being set aside for grants to state and local public safety departments for next generation 911 call centers.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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