FCC Reaffirms WEA Rules

The Commission released an Order on Reconsideration on Wireless Emergency Alerts (“WEA”) reaffirming the November 1, 2017 deadline for enabling the basic “best approximates” geo-targeting alert standard, thus rejecting waiver or extension requests. The FCC emphasizes that the basic geo-targeting standard is designed to be flexible and notes that it expects providers to “continue to employ the techniques that they have been deploying as a matter of best practice.”

In addition, the Order grants an eighteen month extension until May 1, 2019 for smaller, regional wireless providers to meet the “clickable” embedded references requirement, originally scheduled for November 1, 2017. The FCC “anticipate[s] that this relief will dissuade CCA members from withdrawing from WEA participation because they cannot comply with the embedded references requirement by the November 1, 2017 deadline.” The five largest providers must still meet this Nov. 1 deadline.

The Commission acknowledges the time between the original November 1 deadline for embedded references and the publication of this Order in the Federal Register, and accordingly waives the November 1 deadline for all Participating CMS Providers, except for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular, until the Order is published.

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