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FCC Reports Findings for 2018 Nationwide WEA, EAS Tests


FCC
FCC

The FCC has provided an initial overview of the 2018 nationwide tests of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC on October 3. All participating Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers were required to participate in the WEA portion of the test, while all EAS participants were required to participate in the EAS portion of the test.

Initial test data indicates that the majority of EAS participants successfully received and retransmitted the National Periodic Test (NPT) code used for the test. Overall, performance appears to be consistent with what was observed in the 2017 nationwide EAS test. Here are the results:

  • 19,200 radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) providers, wireline video systems, and other EAS Participants in all 50 states and the U.S. territories filed their receipt and retransmission results in the ETRS after the nationwide EAS test (19,069 did so in 2017).

  • 95.5% of test participants successfully received the test alert (95.8% successfully received in 2017).

  • 91.8% of test participants successfully retransmitted the test alert (91.9% successfully retransmitted in 2017).

  • 90.9% of test participants that filed Form Three reported no complications in receiving the test alert (89.0% reported no complications receiving the alert in 2017).

  • 89.8% of test participants that filed Form Three reported no complications in retransmitting the test alert (88.3% reported no complications retransmitting the alert in 2017).

  • 756 test participants reported to have retransmitted the Spanish language version of the alert generated through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) (207 retransmitted in Spanish or both English and Spanish in 2017).

  • 41.3% of test participants that filed Form Three and received the alert reported to have first received it over-the-air (58.1% in 2017), while 58.7% of such test participants reported to have first received the alert from IPAWS (41.9% in 2017).
The 2018 nationwide WEA test was the first nationwide test of the system. Because there is no existing requirement that Participating CMS Providers submit data regarding WEA alert message delivery, the Bureau reviewed and data from a variety of sources to determine the success of delivery of the WEA test message during the nationwide test. Based on this information, the Bureau found that the WEA portion of the nationwide test successfully demonstrated that a WEA can be delivered nationwide.

Additionally, 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.

The Bureau also received feedback from the public through the Public Safety Support Center (PSSC), which, through the week following the test, received a total of 316 responses. Of those responses, approximately 61% reported no problems in receiving a WEA. The remaining 39% either did not receive a WEA or received one that had issues including receipt of multiple messages or problems with the tone or vibration cadence.

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