The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.  The public safety spectrum debate continues to drag on as Industry Canada queries stakeholders for advice on how it should license the 746 MHz-806 MHz band for mobile services, while at the same time protecting the broadcasters still operating in the band (see article on pages 4 and 5). Sure, this is a contentious debate with public safety groups like the RCMP saying they need immediate access to more spectrum on one side, and on the other the broadcasters warning the department that it better go slow so as to lessen the impact on analog TV services.  With approximately 90% of Canadians having access to subscription television services, either through satellite or cable, it’s time for Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage to put their foot down on some broadcasters’ DTV transition foot dragging and set firm deadlines for vacating channels 62 to 69. Perhaps the Federal Communications Commission’s deadline for DTV transition was a little too aggressive, but there has to be some middle ground that the Canadian government can take.  And it must take this action or risk damaging the ongoing efforts of the public safety community to standardize the way they communicate in first responder situations. It’s already too late for this spectrum to be made available for the upcoming 2010 Olympics in Vancouver because the RCMP and other public safety agencies would need the spectrum by 2008 for pre-Olympic events.  But even if it were possible to make this scarce spectrum available in time for the Vancouver Olympics, the RCMP says the rules that the department has set on protecting co-channel and adjacent channel assignments renders usage of channels 63 and 68 less than optimal. It is for this reason that the government should move to firm deadlines for the transition to digital TV services. And this includes not just channels 63 and 68, which have already been dedicated for public safety, but the entire 60-69 channel range.  This isn’t lost on respondents to the department’s consultation. They says the FCC has already moved on channels 52 to 59 (698 MHz-746 MHz frequency range), and there is no reason why Industry Canada should begin to as well.