FCC to Consider Votes On ‘Blue Alerts,’ FirstNet

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UPDATE June is public safety month at the FCC and the agency has a couple of related items teed up for a vote at its next public meeting June 22. One concerns “Blue Alerts,” which can warn the public when there’s an imminent threat against law enforcement and give consumers guidance on what to do.   

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently proposed authorizing a Blue Alert Code to the Emergency Alert Service. The proposal could extend to wireless emergency alerts too, Inside Towers reported. If the item is approved, then the agency would seek public input on whether EAS and WEA are the right way to deliver them.

Another public safety item concerns FirstNet. States can “opt out” of this system and build their own public safety radio networks, if the FCC determines the proposed network will be interoperable with FirstNet. The FCC plans to vote on the criteria it will use to determine that interoperability. “We are committed to working with FirstNet and all state and local partners to make sure that first responders have the tools they need to communicate seamlessly with each other during emergencies,” said Pai in a blog post.

Also slated for a vote are proposals to:

  • Allow disclosure of blocked Caller ID information to help law enforcement investigate threatening calls, and continue the rules waiver in effect for Jewish Community Centers;
  • Improve competitive broadband access to multiple tenant environments;
  • Modernize payphone compensation rules; and
  • Grant a request by OneWeb to access the U.S. market using its proposed global non-geostationary satellite constellation to provide broadband communications services.

June 2, 2017       

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