image: Department of Homeland Security

FCC must upgrade Wireless Emergency Alert system, public safety organizations say

January 9, 2018

The nation’s Wireless Emergency Alert system (WEA) needs improvements that are long overdue, according to a coalition of public safety organizations that is pushing for action by the Federal Communications Commission on the issue.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the other commissioners, six leaders of regional and national public safety organizations are urging the government to add new functionality they say would have been useful during several large-scale emergencies in 2017.

Activated in 2012 following enactment of the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act, WEA messages are sent to mobile phones in the event of an important message from the president; of “imminent threats to safety or life,” according to the FCC; or for Amber Alerts notifying of abducted children.

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