FCC Votes to Improve SMS Alert System

Posted by at 11:39 am on September 29, 2016

FCC LogoThe FCC today took action to improve the Wireless Emergency Alert system.

Local, state, and federal governments use the system to alert people about impending threats. As it functions today, alerts are limited to 90 characters and cannot include media. Moving forward, alerts will be expanded to 360 characters and can include photos and embedded links as needed.

The WEA recently came under fire for messages sent to New Yorkers in the wake of the recent bombings. Many felt the text alerts didn’t include enough information, such as a photo of the suspect.

“We can do more with these messages,” said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel during today’s proceedings. “Vague directives in text about where to find more information about a suspect — just as we saw in New York — are not good enough.”

The FCC will work to narrow down the geographic areas to which messages are sent, as well as add more detail to emergency messages.

Further, messages will be broken into separate groups, such as those containing general information and other, more specific advisories such as to boil water or to evacuate an area. Wireless providers will also be required to push alerts in Spanish.

The technology change was first proposed last year and has been under study since. Today’s vote to adopt more advanced tools will eventually lead to better emergency alerts. Carriers have a full year to implement the new technology.

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive breaking news
as well as receive other site updates

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Log in

Copyright © 2008 - 2023 · StreetCorner Media , LLC· All Rights Reserved ·