First Nationwide WEA Test is Deemed Successful


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Initial results for the first nationwide test of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) look promising, according to the FCC. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 3, FEMA sent a test message to WEA-capable wireless devices throughout the United States and territories, Inside Towers reported.

Participating carriers aren’t required to submit data to the FCC regarding WEA alert message delivery, so the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau reviewed and aggregated data from a variety of sources to determine whether the test message was successfully delivered.

 Based on this information, the bureau believes the test successfully demonstrated that a WEA can be delivered nationwide.

Several local emergency management agencies and other entities conducted informal surveys via email, social media, and the internet to determine whether respondents received the WEA test message, according to the Commission. In the aggregate, these surveys indicate that approximately 72 percent of respondents reported receiving the WEA test message.

The bureau also received public feedback through the Public Safety Support Center, which received 316 responses in the week following the test. Just over 60 percent reported no problems in receiving a WEA. The remaining 39 percent either did not get the message or received one that had issues, such as receiving a message multiple times or one that had problems with the tone or vibration.

News reports indicate that in certain portions of the country, participating carriers did not successfully deliver the WEA test message or the WEA receipt was uneven, with some individuals receiving the alert while others in the same region did not. Additionally, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands did not receive the WEA test because they do not have cell providers that participate in WEA.

Together with FEMA, the bureau will continue to analyze the results of the 2018 test and release more detailed findings when available. The FCC released the initial results in late December.  Comments? Email Us

January 7, 2019     

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