Summary: H.R.6349 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6349. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (12/05/2006)

21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006 - Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) an Office of Emergency Communications. Includes among the Office Director's responsibilities: (1) assisting in developing and implementing the program to enhance public safety interoperable communications at all levels of government; (2) administering DHS's authorities relating to the SAFECOM Program and the Integrated Wireless Network program; (3) promoting the development of standard operating procedures and best practices with respect to use of interoperable emergency communications capabilities for incident response; (4) establishing requirements for such capabilities for all public safety radio and data communications systems and equipment purchased using homeland security assistance; and (5) promoting the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials to continue to communicate in disasters.

Requires the Secretary, through the Director, to: (1) develop and update a National Emergency Communications Plan; (2) assess the range of emergency communications capabilities needed; (3) report biennially on DHS progress in achieving stated goals; and (4) ensure that grant guidelines for the use of homeland security assistance administered by DHS relating to interoperable emergency communications are coordinated and consistent with National Emergency Communications Report recommendations.

Directs the Secretary to support the development of national voluntary consensus standards for interoperable emergency communications. Establishes: (1) in each regional office a Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group; and (2) the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center.

Requires: (1) the Secretary to support the rapid establishment of consistent, secure, and effective interoperable emergency communications capabilities in the event of an emergency in areas at consistently high levels of risk; (2) the Director of the Office of Interoperability and Compatibility to assist the Secretary in developing and implementing science and technology aspects of specified interoperable communications programs; (3) the Under Secretary for Science and Technology to establish a research and development program to enable emergency response providers and government officials to communicate in disasters; and (4) the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report to Congress on efforts of state, local, and tribal governments to develop plans for rerouting 911 and E911 services during disasters.