Members of the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction found themselves inundated late last week with letters from various House and Senate panels urging the addition of language in upcoming deficit reduction legislation that would redesignate 700 MHz D-block frequencies for a nationwide public safety broadband use network, and the allocation of additional spectrum for commercial wireless broadband through the auction process. Known also as the “supercommittee,” the Joint Committee is tasked with devising legislation by November 23 that would reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. In an open letter, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and ranking committee member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) told supercommittee co-chairs Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R TX) that pending Senate D-block legislation (S-911) would “provide significant short-term and long-term benefits to our nation’s fiscal health” by “providing our nation’s first responders with the spectrum they need to communicate, authorizing spectrum auctions to assist public safety in building out a nationwide interoperable network, and providing real money for deficit reduction.” Calling for incorporation of S-911 provisions into the deficit bill, Rockefeller and Hutchison promised to work with the supercommittee in ensuring that any public safety provisions added to the deficit bill would realize at least $10 billion in deficit savings. Rockefeller’s and Hutchison’s sentiments were echoed in a second letter authored by Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and ranking committee member Susan Collins (R-ME). Lieberman, a co-sponsor of legislation with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) that calls for D-block reallocation and incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum to commercial wireless entities, advised the supercommittee that the establishment of a nationwide, interoperable public safety network “is one of the major unfilled recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and Congress now has a unique opportunity to fulfill that recommendation while achieving sizable deficit reduction.” Along the same vein, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY), a co-sponsor of a D-block reallocation bill in the House (H.R. 607), touted his legislation in a third letter as “the type of balanced approach that the [supercommittee] should actively pursue, one that combines an immediate public safety initiative with good governance cost savings.” Applauding the lawmakers’ letters, Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spatler observed: “to ensure adequate spectrum is available to keep powering the expansion of our wireless web, it will require Washington—and the committee—to move quickly to direct more spectrum to where it is most needed and most valued.”