After testifying before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Response and Communications Hearing on “Communicating with the Public During Emergencies: An Update on Federal Alert and Warning Efforts,” I released the following statement:
“The U.S. wireless industry remains strongly committed to deploying the Commercial Mobile Alert Service, enacted as part of the Warning, Alert and Response Network, or ‘WARN Act.’ CTIA and our members worked with more than 40 public and private organizations to develop geo-targeted wireless emergency alerts that will cover more than 97 percent of American wireless subscribers.
“While the U.S. wireless industry has developed and is currently deploying the elements within carriers’ networks, other areas must be addressed if a seamless national deployment is to occur and be operational next year. First, FEMA must stand-up its CMAS gateway and be capable of receiving and distributing alerts to participating wireless carriers. Through our cooperative coordination with FEMA, we believe that is on track to occur in a timely manner. Second, alerting authorities at the state, county and local levels must be properly trained about when and how these warnings should be originated while ensuring consumers receive only the most important notices in a timely manner.
“The wireless industry is committed to begin rolling out wireless alerting capability in New York City later this year and the rest of the country early next year, and will continue to work with FEMA and the FCC to make it a reality.”