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Friday, 12 January 2018 15:35

Emergency Managers Hopeful on Wireless Emergency Alerts Upgrades

On Jan. 5 of the new year, emergency managers sent a letter to the FCC requesting, among other things, to allow a more precise targeting of alerts during a potential disaster and to accomplish via device-based geo-targeting and to do it before May 2019.

On Tuesday, the FCC responded with a 49-page proposal, calling for device-based geo-targeting, which would send alerts to cellphones in areas targeted — as small as one-tenth of a mile in radius. This would be a huge upgrade from the current Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, which allows for targeting cellphones in a county.

This and other recommendations, could be approved at a Jan. 30 meeting in Washington, D.C. If approved, the upgrades would have to take place by November 2019.