California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) waded into the ongoing debate over a potential national public safety broadband network in the 700 MHz band, as he wrote to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to urge the immediate start of “a process that will involve states, local governments, federal agencies, first responders and the private sector in addressing the issues surrounding the design and implementation of this national network.” Schwarzenegger’s letter, sent on Monday, comes as the FCC continues to consider a proposal from Frontline Wireless that would allocate a swath of 700 MHz spectrum to a nationwide open access broadband network that would be shared by public safety and private sector entities. Describing such a network as “a crucial element to the continued effectiveness of our first responders and to the safety and security of our citizens,” Schwarzenegger urged the federal government “to take a leadership role in the development of this national network.” A nationwide network, according to Schwarzenegger, should “ensure the capability of public safety entities to use both voice and advanced data services” and also “provide first responders in rural and urban areas with the advanced technology necessary to protect the public.” Noting that an interoperable network meeting these requirements would cost at least $4 billion to deploy in California alone, Schwarzenegger further observed that “an investment of this size . . . must include federal resources and be guided by sound federal policy if we are to meet the communications needs of California’s, and our nation’s, first responders.”