Thursday, April 10, 2008

OT: Commercial Mobile Alert System First Report and Order

Yesterday, April 09, 2008, the FCC adopted the Commercial Mobile Alert System First Report and Order (CMAS First Report and Order). The purpose of the CMAS is to provide warning messages to the public on mobile devices, such as cell phones. At present, participation is voluntary. In its release today, the Commission described the system as follows:

Wireless carriers that choose to participate in the CMAS will transmit text-based alerts to their subscribers. As technology evolves, the CMAS may eventually include audio and video services to transmit emergency alerts to the public. To ensure that people with disabilities who subscribe to wireless services receive these emergency alerts, the FCC adopted rules that will require wireless carriers who participate in the CMAS to transmit messages with both vibration cadence and audio attention signals.

Consumers can expect to receive three types of messages via their cell phones and other mobile devices from participating wireless carriers, including:

· Presidential Alerts - national emergency-related alerts delivered to the American public that would preempt any other pending alerts;

· Imminent Threat Alerts - alerts with information on emergencies that may pose an imminent risk to people’s lives or well-being; and

· Child Abduction Emergency/AMBER Alerts - alerts related to missing or endangered children due to an abduction or runaway situation.

The participating wireless carriers will be required to comply with Order within 10 months after the Commission designates an agency to collect and transmit the alerts to the wireless carriers.

You can read the Report and Order at statements here:

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