Complications Stall Mississippi Emergency Broadband

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Biloxi, Miss. Mississippi's attempt to create the nation's first statewide emergency broadband network has come to a halt.

The state's Wireless Communications Commission voted last week to freeze construction on the $56 million project, which is nearly 80 percent complete.

Police chiefs across the state are beginning a grass-roots lobbying campaign for the network. The Sun Herald reported that firefighters are likely to join.

The problems are apparently complicated. Some federal money won't be released until states lease a specific part of the broadband spectrum. Those talks are underway.

Then there's state money. The legislature appropriated less than half the money the commission requested and the $6 million it got is all dedicated to a separate radio network.