FCC Releases FNPRM on Wireless Emergency Alerts

On April 22, 2022, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) seeking comment on proposals to strengthen the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts (“WEA”), which was adopted at the April Open Meeting.

WEA provides alerts to mobile devices to warn the public about critical situations, including dangerous weather and missing children.  Authorized federal, state, and local governments send geographically targeted alerts and warnings to WEA-capable mobile devices of participating wireless providers’ subscribers.  The FNPRM seeks comment on:

  • Whether reliability, speed, and accuracy are the most pertinent measures of WEA performance, and how to define these measurements;
  • How and when providers should measure the performance of their WEA service;
  • How and when providers should provide WEA performance reports to the Commission, including whether it is feasible to provide performance reporting after each national test;
  • Whether locality-specific performance reports are necessary;
  • Whether WEA performance reports should include information collected on the consumer’s device, such as information about the actual time and location of alert receipt;
  • Whether consumers should automatically report the information to participating wireless providers, whether there are any privacy concerns with such reporting, and how to mitigate those concerns;
  • The costs associated with providing WEA performance reports and how to limit those costs;
  • Ways to improve WEA’s reliability and speed.

Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and Reply Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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