FCC Unveils New Mobile Alert System
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
May 10, 2011
Neil Grace, 202-418-0506
NEW YORK CITY UNVEILS FIRST-IN-THE-NATION PUBLIC SAFETY SYSTEM;
ENABLED MOBILE DEVICES WILL RECEIVE EMERGENCY ALERTS AT
CRITICAL MOMENTS WITH POTENTIALLY LIFE-SAVING MESSAGES
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, FEMA Administrator
Craig Fugate and top executives from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Verizon announce PLAN at
World Trade Center site in New York City
Washington, D.C., New York, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Federal Communications
Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Administrator W. Craig Fugate, top executives from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon and
others convened at the World Trade Center site to announce
PLAN--the Personal Localized
PLAN is a free service that will allow customers with an enabled mobile
device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent
threats to safety in their area.
2011, at least two calendar quarters before the rest of the nation.
PLAN ensures that emergency alerts will not get stalled by user congestion, which can happen
with standard mobile voice and texting services. Authorized government officials can send
messages, which participating wireless providers then push using their cell towers to enabled
mobile devices in a targeted geographic area.
"In both the public and private sectors, I've always believed in the need to harness technology in
news ways, including ways that its designers hadn't anticipated. The City's opt-in Notify NYC
system is a great example of that: it alerts people to dangers and delays via email and mobile
devices, and it has become a national model of emergency communication," said New York
City Michael Bloomberg.
"But given the kinds of threats made against New York City at the World Trade Center, Times
Square, and other places popular with visitors and tourists, we'll be even safer when authorities
can broadcast warnings to everyone in a geographic area regardless of where they came from or
bought their phone,"
Mayor Bloomberg continued. "I want to congratulate FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate for this quantum leap forward in
using technology to help keep people safe."
"Communications technology and in particular mobile broadband has the potential to
revolutionize emergency response," said FCC Chairman Genachowski. "Our communications
networks need to be reliable and resilient in times of emergency. The FCC is working with
carriers to ensure that they are."
"Following the devastating tornadoes in the Southeast, we are witnessing yet again the critical
role the public plays as part of our nation's emergency management team. Making sure that they
get useful and life-saving information, quickly and easily, right on their mobile phones, will help
more people get out of harm's way when a threat exists," said Administrator Fugate. "This
new technology could become a lifeline for millions of Americans and is another tool that will
strengthen our nation's resilience against all hazards."
When PLAN is operational, customers in an area affected by an emergency who have a PLAN-
capable mobile device will receive an alert of ninety characters or less.
Consumers will receive
three types of alerts from PLAN:
imminent threats to safety of life; and (3) Amber Alerts. Participating carriers may allow
subscribers to block all but Presidential alerts.
In 2006, Congress passed the
Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act,
requiring carriers that choose to participate to activate PLAN technology by a deadline
determined by the FCC, which is April 2012. Participants that will offer PLAN at least
two calendar quarters ahead of schedule in New York City are AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and
Verizon. Ninety percent of New York subscribers who have a PLAN-capable mobile device in
these cities will be able to receive PLAN alerts by the end of 2011.
For more information on PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network), visit the Federal
Communications Commission website at www.fcc.gov or follow @FCC on Twitter.
News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found
on the Commission's website www.fcc.gov.