WASHINGTON - February 22, 2016 - America's Public Television Stations (APTS) announced that its member stations have committed in principle to an allocation of 1 Mbps of their public television spectrum to participate in the FirstNet nationwide public safety network. The organization's membership voted on this pledge today during the annual membership meeting at The APTS Public Media Summit.
"For years, public broadcasters have embraced their public safety mission and are focused on maximizing the broadcast spectrum for the public good," said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. "Public television stations are already partnering with state and local public safety, law enforcement and first responder organizations - connecting these agencies with one another, with the public and with vital datacasting services that use the broadcast spectrum to help first responders securely send critical information and video during times of crisis.
"In addition, public broadcasters provide a backbone for emergency alerts and warnings to the public," Butler said. "This commitment of a small portion of spectrum to FirstNet will allow public broadcasters to deepen and broaden this public safety commitment at both the community and national levels.
"We look forward to working with those who will help the government build out and operate the FirstNet system, and the commitment our stations have made today can help FirstNet reach its public safety objectives more quickly and efficiently than it can do without our help. It's another reason we are proud to call ourselves America's Public Television Stations."
America's Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct - in concert with member stations - strategic planning, research, communications, advocacy and other activities that foster a strong and financially sound public television system providing essential public services to all Americans. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan political support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.