WASHINGTON�While the FCC is considering how to improve wireless emergency alerts, the National Broadcasters Association and National Public Radio have submitted a joint comment for a possible solution. The NAB and NPR recommend that the FM chips in mobile devices be activated.
According to the NAB�s research, virtually all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2015 came with an FM tuner, though FM reception was disabled by the carriers in 63% of them. When activated, the FM chip can receive radio signals from local radio stations. Utilization of the chip, the NAB claims, would relieve some of the wireless congestion that the FCC currently sees as a problem for WEA. In addition it would fulfill the commission�s goal of more effective alert message content, enhanced accuracy and completeness of WEA-delivered AMBER Alerts, and improved access to emergency information for people with disabilities.
This is not the first time that the suggestion of activating the FM chips for emergency alerts has been brought up. New Jersey Broadcast Association President Paul Rotella made a push for Verizon to activate the FM chips in its phones back in September.
To read the full comment from the NAB and NPR, click here.��