Wireless carriers must deliver emergency alerts more precisely

[Commentary] Many officials, from California’s US senators to state public safety representatives, believe that the system for sending emergency alerts to phones needs to be improved. I agree. That’s why, on Jan 30, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on making the wireless emergency alert system more effective. 

The main [problem of the wireless emergency alter system] is the inability of public safety officials to target wireless alerts with greater accuracy — to get information only to those people who need it. When people get messages even though they aren’t in any danger, they can become skeptical about the system, with some opting out of receiving alerts altogether. And in certain cases, the public is missing potentially lifesaving alerts because emergency officials are reluctant to use this tool too broadly. On Jan 30, the FCC will vote on requiring wireless carriers to deliver alerts that more precisely match the affected area. Specifically, carriers would not be allowed to overshoot the geographic area targeted by public safety officials by more than one-tenth of a mile.


Wireless carriers must deliver emergency alerts more precisely