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Mine Communications Technology Innovation Act

Bill Summary and Status

Passed by the House October 29, 2007

Reported (as amended) by the Full Committee October 24, 2007

Introduced in the House October 17, 2007


Sec. 1: Short Title

“Mine Communications Technology Innovation Act'”

Sec. 2: Findings

Establishes Congressional findings that underground mines present unique communications challenges and existing communication technologies are inadequate for maintaining communications, especially in emergencies. Finds that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is well positioned to support development of technology and technical standards to improve communications capabilities in mines in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH).

Sec. 3: Mine Communications and Tracking Research and Development Program Authorization

Requires the Director of NIST to establish a research, development, and demonstration program to accelerate the development of innovative mine communications and tracking technology. Requires the Director to coordinate with other Federal agencies to determine research priorities for promoting miner safety. These priorities may include development of systems for emergency situations, systems for coal mines or deep underground mines, systems that provide ubiquitous coverage, hybrid wireless and wired systems, systems for use in both emergency and routine communications, and additional functionality for two-way and voice communications.

Sec. 4: Standards Regarding Underground Communications

Requires the Director of NIST to work with industry and relevant Federal agencies to develop consensus standards and standard reference materials for wireless communications in underground mines. Requires NIST to address the issues of (1) the appropriate use of frequencies and power levels; (2) communications interoperability; and (3) technology to prevent interference when developing standards and standard reference materials.

Sec. 5: Authorization of Appropriations

Authorizes such sums as are necessary for carrying out this Act for FY 2009 and FY 2010, to be derived from amounts authorized to NIST under section 3001 of the American COMPETES Act.

110th Congress