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FCC Seeks Partners for WEA Testing

Wants to hear from alert originators in a variety of environments

This article isn’t about EAS, but radio folks who follow emergency alerting issues may find it of interest.

The Federal Communications Commission is asking for help with testing the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Its Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau hopes to hear from alert originators who are willing to partner “to conduct localized, end-to-end WEA performance tests … in the third quarter of 2022.”

WEAs are short emergency messages from public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a targeted area.

“In 2021, PSHSB, with its testing partners and FEMA, conducted a survey in connection with the nationwide WEA test,” the bureau wrote. “Although WEA generally performed well in that test, PSHSB recognized a need for localized testing to confirm WEA’s performance under conditions that reflect WEA’s actual use during emergencies.”

It said it will work with the alert originators to define test parameters and the roles and responsibilities of test developers and participants. But it’s hoping to hear from testing partners that “represent the diverse environments where WEAs are sent (i.e., dense urban, urban, suburban and rural areas).”

It pointed interested parties to its comment filing system and said they should submit a filing before May 22 with “22-160” as the docket number for the proceeding.