far less than 1 million worldwide have active licences
I would like to know where you come up with this figure. I have already pointed out that over 16,000 have active licenses in the state of Georgia alone. A quick search of the FCC ULS returns 726,015 amateurs with active licenses in the US alone, so I guess by your figure no other country counts into the worldwide average.
While comsats may be a common thing for first responders in the coastal area where you live, they are not in the coastal area where I live. You could be talking hours get one from the nearest larger city, much longer than the time required for me to get my kit and get on scene. Most HAM rigs will run off of a standard car battery, solar chargers are readily available so while it may not be as efficient as comsat it is doable. How is BoPL advancing the progression of first response technology? Also broadband is available in wireless and satellite forms, so wouldn't it make more sense to improve on those forms rather than "advance" to a technology that makes something that "just works" not work?