FCC Votes to Improve Range of Wireless Emergency Alerts


On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 5-0 to approve a proposal from FCC Chair Ajit Pai that would allow first responders to more precisely pinpoint locations when responding to an emergency call from a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). In part, the proposal will require participating wireless providers deliver alerts to an area that matches the target area specified by the alert originator. Specifically the wireless providers must deliver the alert to 100 percent of the target area that overlaps with the wireless provider’s network coverage area, with no more than 0.1mile overshoot. This will proposal would go into effect November 30, 2019.’ The WEA system is a tool for authorized federal, state and local government entities to send geographically targeted alerts and warnings to the WEA-capable mobile devices of participating wireless providers’ subscribers.  This system was first deployed in 2012. To view the proposal in its entirety, click here.

Please contact Marty Williams, APWA Government Affairs Manager at mwilliams@apwa.net or (202) 218-6732 with any questions.