FCC Releases Public Notice on Delay in WEA IPAWS Availability

On June 7, 2019, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice announcing that the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (“IPAWS”) will not be ready to support Wireless Emergency Alert (“WEA”) improvements by June 10, 2019, as previously expected (PS Docket Nos. 15-91, 15-94).

Until IPAWS is ready to support and deploy the State/Local WEA Test option, discussed below, alert originators may not conduct an end-to-end WEA test to the public without first obtaining a waiver of the Commission’s rules. The Bureau will issue a future Public Notice announcing when IPAWS is available to support these improvements.

As a reminder, the Commission released an April 30, 2019 Public Notice providing guidance for state and local originators on State/Local WEA Testing, reminding alert originators seeking to conduct end-to-end WEA tests that, prior to IPAWS readiness, State/Local tests must continue to use existing WEA message classifications to allow the alerts to be transmitted to the public. During the interim period, the Bureau extended the effective date of the obligation that entities request a waiver of the Commission’s rules to conduct end-to-end tests. Once IPAWS is ready to support these tests, State/Local tests may be conducted without a waiver. Consumers must affirmatively opt in to receive State/Local WEA tests, and providers must clearly communicate that these messages are only tests.

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