Chairman Pai's Response to Members of Congress Re: GAO Report on Emergency Alerts

On July 21, 2020, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai responded to several Members of Congress regarding a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled "Emergency Alerting: Agencies Need to Address Pending Applications and Monitory Industry Progress on System Improvements". The Report makes three recommendations for executive action — two addressed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and one addressed to the FCC. With respect to the FCC, the Report recommends that 1) The Chairman should develop specific, measurable goals and performance measures for FCC efforts to monitor the performance of new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) capabilities, such as enhanced geo-targeting and expanded alert message length.

In his letter, Chairman Pai notes that the FCC has adopted various requirements to improve the value of WEA messaging, such as "geo-targeting" rules, which require that alerts be tailored more precisely to those geographic areas in which the alert is most relevant. He also writes that the FCC has a pending rulemaking proceeding that specifically seeks comment on whether the FCC should adopt performance metrics, such as benchmarks regarding the extent to which these alerts have been received. He provided further update to the rulemaking proceeding.

Chairman Response to GAO Report GAO Report