On April 17, 2019 the Commission released a Public Notice reminding Commercial Mobile Service providers (“CMS Providers”) participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that they must deliver enhanced geo-targeted WEA messages to 100% of the target area with no more than one-tenth of a mile overshoot to new mobile devices offered for sale and to existing devices capable of being upgraded to support this standard no later than November 30, 2019. If some or all of a Participating CMS Provider’s network infrastructure is technically incapable of matching the specified target area, Participating CMS Providers must deliver the Alert Message to an area that best approximates the target area on and only on those aspects of its network infrastructure that are incapable of matching the target area.

As you may recall, the requirement to match the target area applies only to new mobile devices offered for sale after November 30, 2019 and to existing devices capable of being upgraded to support this matching standard. For existing mobile devices that cannot be upgraded, Participating CMS Providers must deliver the Alert Message to their “best approximation” of the target area.

The Notice also reminds providers that as of November 30, 2019, Participating CMS Providers must provide, at the point of sale, information about the benefits of enhanced geo-targeting and the extent of its availability on their networks and devices, so customers can make a more informed choice about their ability to receive WEA messages.

In addition, there are other requirements effective May 1, 2019:

  • Increasing Maximum WEA Character Length from 90 to 360 characters;
  • Supporting Embedded References (non-nationwide compliance date);
  • Spanish-language Alerting;
  • WEA Priority;
  • Supporting State/Local WEA Testing; and
  • The FCC will classify Public Safety Messages as an Alert Message eligible to be issued in connection with any other class of Alert Message.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions.