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San Jose Police Chief Pushes For Broadband Network To Use In Emergencies

SAN JOSE (KCBS) - San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore has traveled to Washington to lobby Congress to fund the creation of a broadband network specifically for law enforcement and public safety agencies to transfer large amounts of data during an emergency.

Moore said recent disasters have shown the infrastructure does not exist for police, firefighters and other first responders to move large amounts of video or audio data over the unrestricted Internet.

"What we saw in Katrina and what we saw when Captain Sullenberger landed his plane in the Hudson, it's not that the networks collapsed. But they became saturated and public safety was not able to get access to the networks for our data transfers," he said.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

Those problems could have been avoided, Moore said, with a dedicated network that could handle vastly more data.

Such a network would allow security cameras in businesses or banks to transmit images in real time to patrol cars, or to guarantee voice connections over the Internet between different public safety agencies.

"If something were to happen like an earthquake in Los Angeles," he said, "we would have a contingent of people driving to Los Angeles from the Bay Area that would be operating on the same frequencies and have data accessibility and voice accessibility between the two."

The cost of building a dedicated, nationwide public safety broadband network is estimated at $13 billion. Moore hopes Congress will approve the initial funding before the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

He was scheduled to testify Friday on behalf of big city police chiefs at a hearing of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee convened by San Jose Rep. Anna Eshoo.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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