tv FCC Open Meeting on Emergency Alert System CSPAN January 30, 2018 4:48pm-5:52pm EST
gives his first state of the union address. join us on c-span for a preview of the evening at 8:00 p.m. and the state of the union speech live at 9:00 p.m. following the speech, the democratic response from congressman joe kennedy and hear your reaction and comments from members of congress. president trump's state of the union address tonight live on c-span. span live on the free c .adio app now today's f.c.c. open meeting on its investigation into the false emergency missile alert that happened in hawaii earlier this month. >> good morning, welcome to the january 2018, open meeting of the federal communications commission. madam secretary, could you announce our agenda. good morning to you and good
morning, commissioners. you will hear six items for your consideration and one presentation. first, you will receive a preliminary report from the public safety and homeland security bureau on its investigation into the false emergency alert that occurred in awaii on january 13, 2018. second, you will consider a second report and order and on recon to enhance emergency wireless alerts and the geographic accuracy of these alerts. third, an order addressing the remaining issues raised challenging the commission's order connecting the auction 903 in which service providers will compete to receive support up to $1.98 to offer voice and broadband service in high cost service areas. fourth, you will consider a
public notice establishing procedures for the connect america funds phase two auction which will award up to $1.98 billion over 10 years that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high cost areas. fifth, you will consider an order to accomplish an office of economic and arnl itic. sixth, a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to eliminate the requirement that broadcast licenseys and permiteys who routinely submit paper copy of contracts and other documents to the f.c.c. as specified in the section of the commission's rules. and seventh, you will consider an enforcement action. this is your agenda for today. item 7 on the agenda listed in the january 23, 2018 sunshine 74 ce, amendment of 54, 7 ,
and 76 of the commission's rules to delete rules made obsolete by the digital commission and deleted from today's agenda. first on your agenda is a preliminary report presented by the public safety and homeland security bureau and lisa, chief of the bureau will give the introduction. >> if you are ready, the floor is yours. >> good morning, mr. chairman, commissioners. earlier this month, on the morning of january 13, people throughout hawaii were alerted on their televisions, radios and wireless phones of an imminent ballistic missile attack. the warning unleashed widespread panic and fear. the alert was issued by the state of hawaii through the emergency alert system and the
wireless emergency alert system. but the warning was a false alert. compounding this problem, it took 38 minutes for the hawaii emergency management agency to issue a corrected alert. as chairman stated, this false alert was unacceptable. he immediately directed the public safety and homeland security bureau to investigate the incident with the goal of understanding how it happened and how to help prevent such an incident from happening again. america's emergency alert system provide timely and life-saving information to the public and we must ensure that these systems remain effective. this includes maintaining the public confidence so when an emergency alert is issued, the public heeds its call.
today, the bureau presents a preliminary report on its investigation. joining me here today are nicky, deputy bureau chief and homeland security bureau, and an attorney adviser in the communications reliability vision and justin, deputy chief of the burro's emergency management division. these talented folks along with e bureau's alerting team has produced excellent work on this investigation, the wireless emergency alert that will be considered shortly and my recent testimony before the senate commerce committee. l within a very, very very short time frame. to nicky, james and the rest of the alerting team as well as
others in the bureau who have helped on these projects in recent weeks, thank you. you have my pride and appreciation and i'm grateful that you are a part of the public safety and homeland security bureau family. i would also like to recognize ryan, field agent with the enforcement bureau who assisted james and justin when they were on the ground in hawaii as part of this investigation. james will present the report. >> thank you. >> good morning chairman and commissioners. as the chief said on january 13, the hawaii emergency management agency initiated a false ballistic missile alert using the wireless emergency alert is system which delivers emergency alerts and alerts through television and radio. investing the false alert, the
officials interviewed in person in honolulu and received a demonstration of how its alert origination software initiates alerts and tests. in addition, we have interviewed representatives of wireless providers that offer service to hawaii, the president of the hawaii broadcasters' association and the hawaii state emergency communications committee, vendors, including the vendor supplies vendor software and other state and local emergency state emergency managers. so far we have been pleased with the level of cooperation we have received including from the leadership from the hawaii emergency management association. the individual who transmitted the false alert refused to speak with us. last week, the agency provided us with information from a
written statement made by this individual shortly after the incident which helped to improve our understanding of the events that led to the false alert. by way of background and to provide context to what happened on january 13, hawaii has been actively testing its alert warning capabilities over the past year. the hawaii emergency management agency's ballistic missile defense drill aims to simulate a real event. it begins with a mock call from an officer who similar you lates a call and ends with the transmission of a text message to fema. under the hawaii emergency management agency drill procedures, the text message should be sent to fema. it should never be transmitted to consumer phones, televisions. by november 27 of last year, hawaii emergency management agency had a check list of
procedures for initiating and conducting the ballistic missile defense drill and refined through practice and feedback on lessons learned. and the agency was regularly running the ballistic missile defense drill as a no-notice drill meaning it was commencing in order tothout no simulate conditions. the final version of the check list that depided the agency through its ballistic missile defense drill on january 13 was created on january 5. i will walk you through a time line of the events as we understand them. in the early morning hours of january 13, the hawaii emergency management agency's midnight shift conduct add ballistic missile defense drill without incident. the supervisor of the midnight shift decided to run a no-notice of the drill in addition to the day shift. the mid knit shift supervisor
specifically decided to drill at shift change in order to help train the day shift warning officers for a ballistic missile defense scenario at a time when it would be challenging to properly respond. at 8:00 a.m., hawaii standard time, the agency conducted its regularly scheduled shift change. when the supervisor of the day shift entered the agency, the supervisor of the midnight shift communicated the intention to conduct the preparedness drill. but there was a miscommunication. the incoming day shift supervisor thought the midnight shift supervisor intended to conduct it for those ending their shift not for those beginning their shift. as a result, the day shift supervisor was not in the proper location to supervise the officers when the drill was initiated.
8:05 a.m., the midnight shift supervise sore placed a call to the day shift warning officers pretending to be u.s. pacific command. the supervisor played a recorded message over the phone. the recording began by saying, exercise, exercise, exercise. language that is consistent with the beginning of the script tore the drill. after that, however, the recording did not follow the hawaii emergency management agency's standard operating procedures for this drill. instead, the recording included language scripted for use in an emergency for an actual live ballistic missile alert and included the sentence, this is not a drill. the recorded ended by saying, exercise, exercise, exercise. three on duty warning officers received this message simulating a call on speaker phone.
according to a written statement from the day shift warning officer who initiated the alert as relayed to the bureau, the day shift warning officer heard, this is not a drill, but did not hear, exercise, exercise, exercise. . the day shift warning officer therefore believed the missile threat was real. at 8:07 a.m. the responded by transmitting a live incoming ballistic missile alert to the state of hawaii. they used software to send this they selected the template for a live alert from a drop down menu containing various live alert templates. it had the officer confirm if ou want to send the message. do you want to
send this alert. the officers knew the call they heard was not a threat. specifically, they heard the words exercise, exercise, exercise. officer, ft warning however, reported after the event their belief that this was a real emergency. so they clicked yes to transmit the alert. because we've not been able to interview the day shift warning officer who transmitted the false alert, we're not in position to fully evaluate the credibility of their assertion that they believed it was an actual missile threat as opposed to believing it was a drill and accidently sending out the drill. but it is worth noting that they recalled the announcement did say, this is not a drill. at :08 a.m., the mobile twice of the officer who transmitted the alert sounded the warning
signal, distinct audible tones that announce an emergency alert, providing the first alert to those in the watch center that an actual alert had been transmitted to the public. at 8:09 a.m., the director of the hawaii emergency management agency notified the hawaii governor that the agency transmitted a false alert. at 8:10 a.m., the director of the hawaii emergency management agency communicated to united states pacific command there was no missile launch, confirming what pacific command already knew. the hawaii emergency management agency also notified the honolulu police department there was no launch. at 8:12 a.m., the group used its emergency alert system to issue a cancellation. the cans sleighs -- an instruction to downstream wireless emergency alert systems to cease retransmission. notably a cancellation message does not generate an all-clear
message and does in the recall messages that have been transmitted and displayed on televisions and mobile phones. from 8:13 a.m. to 8:26 a.m., the hawaii emergency management agency conducted outreach to hawaii's county emergency management agencies and radio and television stations to inform them the alrm was false. but the agency's phone lines also became congested with incoming calls from the public asking about the nature of the alert they received. some calls to the agency did not get through. the agency also note fid its staff of the false alert so they could help respend to community inquiries. at 8:20 a.m., the hawaii emergency management agency posted on its facebook and twitter accounts there was no missile threat to hawaii. at 8:24 a.m., hawaii governor tweeted the agency's notice there was no missile threat. the governor has stated he was unable to do this earlier because he did not know his
twitter password. at 8:27 a.m., the agency staff met to discuss options for sending a corrective second message using the emergency alert system and the wireless emergency alert system. the agency determined that a correction of this false alert best met the criteria of a civil emergency message which is one of the event codes used to initiate alerts over the emergency alert system. at 8:30 a.m., the agency called fema and on its second attempt to reach fema reached a fema program management office employee. after 45 seconds, all on the call agreed the correction met the criteria for use of the civil emergency message event code. at 8:31 a.m., the deputy chief of the hawaii emergency management agency's telecommunications branch logged into the agency's alert origination software and created correction messages for the emergency alert and wireless emergency alert systems.
at 8:45 a.m., 38 minutes after the false alert, the agency issued a correction over the two alerting systems. based on our investigation to date, the bureau believes that a combination of human error and inadequate safe forwards contributed to this false alert. with respect to human error, due to a miscommunication between the midnight shift supervisor and day shift supervisor, the drill was run without sufficient supervision. in speaking with the bureau, other emergency management agencies stressed the importance of proper drill supervision and the conducting a drill without supervision would not be tolerate. further, the midnight shift supervisor initiated the drill by playing a recording that deviated from the script of the agency's establish drill procedure that included the phrase, this is not a drill. finally, the warning officer at the alert origination terminal
apparently failed to recognize that this was an exercise, even though the other warning officers on duty understood this was not a real emergency. with respect to inadequate safeguards, most importantly there were no procedures in place to prevent a single person from mistakenly sending a missile alert to the state of hawaii. while such an alert addressed the matter of the utmost gravity, there was no requirement in place for a warning officer to double check with a colleague or get sign off from a supervisor before sending such an alert. additionally, the state of hawaii appears to have been conducting an atypical number of no-notice drills which heightened the potential for an error to occur. the bureau's information so far revealed that while other emergency management agencies use no notice trills under special circumstances, the common practice is to schedule drills in advance for a set date and time. it is also troubling that
hawaii's alert origination software did not differentiate between the testing and the live production environment. hawaii's alert origination software allowed users to send both live alerts and test alerts using the same interface and the same log-in credentials after clicking a button that confirmed, are you sure you want to send this alert? in other words, the confirmation prompt contained the same language, irrespective of whether the message was a test or an actual alert. the confirmation prompt also did not offer the officer another opportunity to review the text that was about to be sent. further, hawaii's reliance on prepared templates stored in their alert origination software made it easy for a warning officer to click through the origination process without sufficient focus on the actual text of the alert message he or she was about to send. in contrast, the bureau's
investigation so far found that common industry practice is to host the live alert production environment a separate user selectable domain at the willing-in screen or through a separate application. other alert origination software appears to provide clear visual cues that differentiate the test environment from the live environment, including the use of watermarks, color coding and unique membrane. once sent, there was a delay in sending a correction. they had not anticipated the possibility of issuing a false alert and failed to develop standard procedures for its response. it first sent out a corrective message using social media rather than the same alerting systems it used to send the false alert. indeed, the agency was not immediately prepared to issue a correction using these systems. the agency also did not maintain
redundant and effective means to communicate with chief stake holders in emergencies. the bue was pleased the hawaii emergency management agency has already taken steps to help ensure that an incident like this never happens again. it has created a new policy that supervisors must receive advance notice of all future drills. it will require two credentialed warning officers to sign in and validate the transmission of every alert and test. it has created a false alert correction template for emergency alert system and wireless emergency alert system mess messages so warning officers are more readily prepared to conduct, excuse me, to correct a false alert should one ever occur again. it has requested that its alert origination software vendor integrate improvement into the next iteration of its software to more clearly delynn yat the test environment from the live production environment. helping to safe forward against false alerts. finally, it has stopped all future ballistic missile defense
drills pending the conclusion of its own investigation. that said, there is more work to be done. the bureau will continue its investigation and issue a final report including recommended measures to safeguard against false alerts and to mitigate the harmful effects if they do occur. and once we have developed those recommended measures we intend to partner with fema to engage in stake holder outreach and encourage implementation of best practices. among other afters, we are considering convening a round table in the emergency ealerting ecosystem to discuss lessons that should be learned from this incident swept developing a joint webinar with fema to educate stake holders. as always, the bureau stands ready to implement additional actions as directed by the commission. thank you. > thank you, mr. wiley and ms. fowlkes, for that presentation. >> i would like to thank the
bureau for such a very, very, very quick and comprehensive report. this is a -- an extremely serious issue because the false ballistic missile alert in hawaii should be a wakeup call for all stake holders involved in emergency communications. we cannot simply dismiss this as being an inadvertent mistake that only public officials in hawaii ha need to address. this incident should and is, i hear, serving as a catalyst for every state and locality to review their emergency alert processes. every community should be doing more to prevent an issuance of a false alert. mignon: but if and when a false alert is ever sent again, the technical capability to immediately send a correction should be in place and the protocols on how to go about that should be clearly defined.
thank you. >> thank you commissioner clyburn. commissioner riley. >> i want to say it's astounding that no one was hurt in this instance, it could have been a cat cliss mikka it's a fee. catastrophe. ic one issue raised in "the washington post" article regarding the governor, the hawaii emergency management agency responded to this "washington post" article saying we hope that commissioner o'reilly would have waited until the report came out before mmenting regarding the password. today hing you responded was says the article was inaccurate. the gnchor couldn't find his password and that's why he didn't respond? >> that's what's reported in the
news. michael: i watched your testimony in the senate, it was helpful in delineating whose responsibility is whose. fema has responsibility for preparation of notifications and our responsibility is to make sure the notifications work from the communication company side going out. is that accurate? is that consistent with your testimony? lisa: the f.c.c. is responsible for communications. fema has public alert and warning systems which is -- it aggregates alerts coming from the alert originators this estate and local governments decide what the note -- when to issue the alert over what systems, and when those alerts would be issued.
michael: but communications companies, when i read your good work on that steps, a lot of these steps seem to be fema's responsibility is that not act at? when it says things, you know, you mention stake holders round table is a possibility. best practices are mentioned here. and safeguards were false alerts. that's allen fema's responsibility. whether they did it or didn't do it in overseing the state and local, that's not communications company. the communications company side worked well. the information did get out. whether it was false information or accurate information, it did get out. the companies themselves did their job, is that accurate? lisa: yes. michael: so on the fema side, looking at the statute that governs this, their responsibility is all of that and it's not our responsibility, is that a fair -- lisa: from a statutory
perspective yes. chael: that's our top level, statutory perspective -- lisa: but what we said in this presentation as well as what i had said in my testimony is that all the stake holders involved need to do their part to address these types of issues. the f.c.c. is simply performing its part. for example, the f.c.c. has in the past served as a convenor of stake holders to identify lessons learned and best practices. we've also taken into account feedback received from state and local governments and fema in terms of the policies that we adopt. michael: on the last point there, there is a stake holder advisory committee created in
the law, right that fema operates? and you're a member of that? so they have the authority for another couple of years for convening that as they see fit, it's only 18 months old. lisa: they have -- that's -- they have a committee they set up under statute. dealing with their system. michael: one last question. listening to the presentation, it's right to say that one of the supervisor of this entire project was at home at the time. is that accurate? 8:31, the supervisor logged into the system, he was at home at the time? s that accurate? >> may we follow up with you on that point? michael: sure. >> thank you, commissioner o'rielly, commissioner karr?
brendan: imagine what you'd do if at this moment on your phone you received the following message, ballistic missile threat inbound. seek immediate shelter. this is not a drill. who would be the first person to that you'd call? what would you say? and what would you do when the intervening 38 minutes between getting that message and getting another one saying that the first one was false? many residents of hawaii don't have to imagine that scenario they lived through it. many of them thought those 38 minutes were their last ones. the panic and fear and heartache of those 38 minutes we now believe was due to human error. but also deficient preparation and training. no one should have to go through moments like this.
especially if basic competency would have prevented them. the people of hawaii are justifiably livid. they demand answers and so do we. i commend the chairman for immediately beginning an investigation into what happened in hawaii on january 13. i think the public safety -- i thank the public safety and hemland security bureau for the work you've done and testifying on this issue and doing it all so quickly. it shed a lot of light on what's already transpyred. we will get to the bottom of this incident and it's incumbent on all the relevant agencies of our government to make certain that this doesn't happen again. so thank you again for all your diligent work on this, for the findings you have put together. i look forward to continuing to work with you all on this matter. thanks. >> thank you, commissioner c a arr. commissioner?
>> years ago i had the privilege of working with the people of the state of hawaii when i served as counselor to the late senator daniel anouye. i know the residents are resilient and i'm sure their aware of new as a rule nernlts in the pacific. when this incident occurred i reached out to folks in hawaii who i had worked with in the past in order to try to understand just what had happened. and they had only harrowing tales to tell. imagine knowing you had only minutes left to live before everything you hold dear could be destroyed. what would you do? when this threat was over i'm sure people in hawaii held their children a little closer. i know i did the same that night. said, or brian shave this system failed miserably. we need to improve it and get it
right. amen. so let's get to work. and that work starts with the preliminary report we produce today. this is thanks to the chairman calling for an investigation which is the right thing to do it's also thanks to the efforts of our talented public safety and homeland security bureau. what your work reveals is that at many level this is could have been avade and effects could have been mitigated. we need to take these facts and use them to improve our emergency alert systems across the board. we can start by considering how this agency can help develop best practices at the local, state, and federal level. then we need to incentivize their use through the emergency alert system state plan which are subject to regular filing around review at the f.c.c. while we're at it, we should address everything from state training to improved user interfaces that reduce the likelihood of error. in addition, we should explore
the viability of offering these alerts to audio and video streaming services and the possibility of aligning traditional daisy chain reporting practices with newer federal alert aggregation capabilities. but above all, we need to act with dispatch. we need real changes in place on an accelerated schedule. we should commit right here, right now, to having them in lace before the summer begins. because what happened in hawaii should never happen again. >> thank you, commissioner. as we heard, the only things that struck the island on january 13 were panic and then outrage. rightly so on each count. that leads to two key questions, what went wrong and what needs to be done to stop a future mistake from happening? those are the two questions i asked the public safety bureau to immediately investigate when i initiated this investigation
on january 13. as today's preliminary reports demonstrate, the bureau has made a lot of progress in less than 2 1/2 weeks, very busy weeks. the presentation this morning also makes clear that many things went wrong in hawaii. we talk to -- as we saw from the power point. i don't say this for the purpose of casting blame or disparaging hawaiian official bus we need to identify the problem in order to fix them. not just in hawaii but anywhere elsewhere they may exist in this country. in my view, the two most troubling things that our investigation thus far has found is that number one, hawaii -- the hawaii emergency management agency didn't have reasonable safeguards in place to prevent human error from resulting in the transmission of a false alert. and number two, hawaii's emergency management agency didn't have a plan for what to do if a false alert was transmitted. every state and local government that originates alerts needs to
learn from these mistakes. each should ensure that it has adequate safeguards in place to prevent the transmission of false aleverts. and each should have a plan in place for how to immediately correct a false alert. this is important because the public needs to be able to trust that when the government issues an emergency alert it is indeed a credible alert. otherwise people won't take alerts seriously and respond appropriately when a real emergency strikes and lives are on the line. today's preliminary report, as mr. wiley pointed out is not the end of our work on this issue, but rather the beginning. in ethe weeks to come the bureau will produce a final report on this incident. the f.c.c. will work with federal, state and local officials to ensure best practices. we want to minimize the chances of future false alerts being issued as well as the impacts of any such false alerts. i too, would like to thank the
witness who was cooperated with our investigation. i also want to thank senator brian shoths and congresswoman coleen hanabusa of hawaii for speaking with me on that day and days subsequent, and most of all, i would like to thank the bureau's staff for the expertise, tenacity and speed they have brought to bear on this task. james reilly and justin kaine were dogged on the ground investigators in hawaii. they have been ably assisted by many others. thanks to all of you for your hard work and thanks in advance for the efforts to come. with that, madam secretary, would you please announce the next item on today's agenda. >> mr. chairman and commissioners, the second item on the agenda, wireless lert, rules regarding the emergency alert system, will be presented by the public
safety and homeland security, once again, lisa fowlkes, chief of the bureau, will give the introduction. >> thank you, madam secretary. ms. fowlkes, whenever you and your team are ready. lisa: thank you, good morning again. the public safety and bureau is pleased to report a second report in order and second report for consideration that would enhance the effectiveness of wireless emergency alerts. when the the wireless emergency alerts program launched in 2012, participating wireless providers were generally required to send alerts to a geographic area no larger than the county or counties affected by an emergency. oftentimes, however, an emergency affects an area smaller than a county. to address that, as a last -- as of last november, all participating wireless providers are required to transmit alerts to a geographic area that best approximates the area affected
by an emergency even if it's smaller than a county. today's order would improve accuracy further by requiring wireless providers by delivering alerts to an area that matches the target specified by originators with an overreach of no more than one mile. this would allow them to send alerts to only those phones located in areas affected by an area without disturbing others. recent natural disasters in texas, california, and puerto rico, among other places, have demonstrated the need for public safety personnel to communicate potentially life-saving information to targeted areas, including orders to evacuate or shelter in place due to wildfires or hurricanes. the enhanced geotargeting requirement before you today would allow for the kind of precise alerting, prevent overalerting and encourage the
use of wireless alerts during times of crisis. if adopted, this and other improvements in today's order would make wireless emergency alerts even more effective tool for emergency managers to keep their communities safe. gin -- joining me at the table are niki mcbegins any, megan henry and james wiley, attorney adviors in the communications and reliability division, and . rasul sabian, of the bureau's policy and linetsing division. i want to thank other bureaus and offices in the agency, particularly our colleagues in the office of general counsel who provided their expertise and counsel throughout this process. may began will present the item. megan: thank you, good morning chairman and commissioners. as chief fowlkes explained, today's second report and order takes important step to improving the wireless emergency
alerts or wea as a life-saving tool. it would require them to -- providers to deliver wea messages to an area that matches the target area specified by the alert originator. we define that as delivering an alert message to 100% of the target area with no more than .1 of a mile overshoot this requirement would apply to all new twices and all existing devices that are capable of being updated to support this match standard. we expect that participating wireless providers would match the target area in all instances except where they're technically incapable of doing. so in those very limited circumstances, for example, when a consumer turns off the location services on their device, wireless providers would be required to best approximate the target area. in recognition of the uveraget need to ensure that members of the public receive only the alert messages that are relevant to them and to give emergency managers the tools to
communication life-saving information to those specifically affected by an emergency, we would require participating requireless providers to comply with this rule by november 30, 2019. the order would also adopt new consumer disclosure requirements to ensure that members of the public are aware of the availability and benefits of enhanced geotargeting at the point of sale. second, the order would require wireless providers to preserve wea messages on mobile devices for at least 24 hours or until they are deleted by the user. preserving alert messages on the device will allow members of the public to go back and review life-saving information such as location of shelters and supply distribution units and emergency hotline numbers. this capability is especially important given the commission's recent adoption rules that allow for longer wea messages that include clickable links and phone numbers.
third, the order would define what constitutes in whole and in part participation in wea. wireless providers would participate in whole if they provide wea service on all the mobile devices they offer at point of sale and the entirety of their geographic service area. they would participate in part if they provide wea service in some but not all of their owe graphic service area or on some but not all the mobile devices at point of sale this will help provide clarity to industry, emergency managers and the public about the availability of wea service. finally, the second order on reconsideration would allow the deadline for implementing spanish language for reporting along with longer, 360-character length messages. we recognize alerts in spanish can require more characters than equivalent alerts in english and
this will allow wireless providers to conduct software testing for these two features at the same time. the bureau recommends adoption of the items and asks for editorial privileges only to conforming edits. >> thank you. >> whether it's text to 911, wireless location accuracy or promoting thery liability of public safety communication,000,000 approach when it comes to public safety issues has been shaped by three guiding principles. people with accessibility and access challenges must benefit, we should do all we can to educate consumers about these safety benefits, and collaboration among all stake holders works better than litigation. frederick douglass, one of the most influential african-americans of the 19th century is known to have said, if there is no struggle, there is no progress. with african-american history
month just days away, i find this to be a particularly fitting quote to aptly describe most of the public safety proceedings i have participated in over the past eight years. typically, proceedings start with a commission setting an ambitious goal to improve these services. then in many cases, the communications industry pushes back on certain details. this is followed by the five of us not agreeing on all the policy details. but in the end, these struggled and collaboration amongst stake holders have resulted in progress and improvements to emergency communications. the same can be said for wireless emergency alerts or wea. wire lescariers voluntarily participate and the wea system enables authorized alert originators at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels to warn the public about all
levels of emergencies. first deployed in april of 2012, and thanks to the collaborative effort by industry and the public safety community, the wea system has issued more than 33,000 emergency alerts. we have worked over the past few years to more precisely target those alerts to cell phone users located in the exact area where the emergency exists. the risk here is that those who repeatedly get alerts which are not relevant to them may one day ignore an alert that directly impact theirs safety and that would be extremely unfortunate. this is why back in september of 2016 we sought comment on requiring the industry to go beyond the current geotargeting stan dand and more closely match the target area that an alert originator transmits. that further noted -- notice
demonstrated again despite differences on specific policy details, my colleagues and i considered the industry's challenges and worked toward supporting this goal. today's order marks an important milestone because it follows through on the previous administration's enhanced geotargeting proposal and requires the industry to meet the enhanced standards by november 30 of 2019. i must admit that i had concerns about certain aspects of the draft originally circulated earlier this month but i am pleased to report that i can now support the item because we were able to compromise on a few key areas. the order originally stated that a participating wireless company's net work infrastructure could resort to a less accurate standard if it were incapable of matching a target area. i was concerned the term could become a loophole. my leagues agreed to a request
to clarify that technically incapable does not include circumstances when a carrier's own failure to adequately maintain or upgrade its network or devices makes it unable to meet this standard. i want to commend the new york city emergency management office and others for the strong advocacy on this issue. in addition, the original draft order did not amend the subscriber notification rule to keep pace with the technical changes we are adopting today. currently, consumers must be notified at point of sale if wireless companies do not offer weas at all or if they offer weas only in part. if we really believe that more precise gee y targeting alerts are important to keep people safe, then we should give all wireless customers the ability to choose more precise geotargeting devices and
services. consumers cannot make that choice if they do not have adequate notification. so i thank my colleagues for agreeing to amend the rule to make clear that consumers must also be notified about the extent to which wireless companies offer enhanced geotargeting alerts. finally, i was concerned that the initial draft had no mention of multimedia information in wireless emergency alerts. the september, 2016 further notice specifically sought comment on this issue and the new york city emergency commission made a compelling case it would have been very helpful if the alert about the chelsea bombing in 2016 had included a photo of the suspect. so i asked that the item include a further notice on multimedia information in these alerts. although my colleagues would not agree to further notice, i am pleased that they are willing to
support directing the public safety and homeland security bureau staff to issue a public notice to further develop the record on the subject. so far, the reasons i have -- so for all the reasons i have stated this order has my support. thank lisa fowlkses and the dedicated staff for their work on this order and my colleagues for working with me on such a critical plo seeding. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner clyburn. commissioner o'rielly. michael: everyone should be able to agree that providing agencies with the ability to pinpoint wireless emergency alerts to specific areas where there isn't a threat is an incredibly useful function. public industries are supportive of this and so am i, therefore i'm generally in favor of today's order. my concerns center on the need to mandate technologies before
they are ready. the notice that led to today's item along with the commission's communications security reliability and interoperability csric, recommended it should occur 42 months after adoption of the commission order. the wireless industry said they could probably then do it faster and suggested 36 months. today's item adoptance inexplicable 22 month timeline based on new record evidence it is achieveable. jl though providers stated they'll try to meet this aggressive guideline they also stated it will be incredibly challenging. the stars must align just right to make this happen in this time. while i understand the public safety entities want geotargeting now, you cannot wish technology into existence. as the record reflects, further consideration is needed regarding how to effectuate geotargeting including such basics as the need for software
or hardware changes and updated an new standards this doesn't happen overnight. in fact the standards bodies are still finalizing the last set of wea changes including spanish language messages and 360 character alerting requirements. before these are completed and geotargeting relies on the ability to send these longer alerts we're adopting new rules that will add additional requirements for standard setting bodies to work out. based on the draft made public, the alliance for telecommunications solutions recently identified 25 standards that must be modified or invented to meet these standards. hopefully this will be the end for a while but one of our targets should be setting standards for 5g. i also want to be clear the industry should be given the opportunity to figure out the best means to figure out geotargeting. it is paramount that industry ensures that whatever means or
technology they pick is tested and works. they should not be forced to cut corners or pick a lesser shution to meet an aspirational deadline. we went down this road for phase 2 location accuracy and it didn't work out well. therefore if standards are delayed and industry needs more time to successfully deploy geotargeting i'll be supportive of extending the deadline. for this reason, i'm please the chairman agreed to my request to add language to the item that the commission will entertain a waiver of the 22-month deadline if the standards process is prolonged. ultimately we must remember this a voluntary program and we don't want providers opting out because they cannot meet standards and integrate this functionality in 22 months this brings me to the cost-benefit analysis. i remain skeptical of the flawed value of a statistical life metric, i appreciate the efforts by the chairman's office and staff to improve this part of the item. going forward, we should work
toward improving cost-benefit analysis to ensure that they are based in fact and there that there is actual proof or a high probability that the stated benefits will accrue from the burdens we impose. i hope under the new office of economic and analytics which we established in a separate item today, we can work on a framework in which any proposed rule must be shown to have a statistically significant likelihood of correlation or causeation to suggested benefit. further, i want to thank the chairman for incorporating some of my additional edits such as adding language to ensure device-based insurance was in the 360 characters. i want to thank the staff for all of their hard work they've dedicated to to this issue, especially given their intense focus on the other issues in hawaii over the last many weeks. i thank you so very much. i will vote to approve the item. >> thank you. commissioner carr. brendan: wireless emergency
alerts save lives from a national weather service warning about an approaching hurricane to amber alerts that bring a child home, safely. emergency managers have sent more than 33,000 alerts aimed at keeping the public safe. but an ineffective wea system is no system at all. if emergency managers cannot count on a system to deliver their messages on time and to the intended area, or if the public loses trust in wea's reliability, officials and the public will opt out. and a system that delivers few alerts to a dwindling audience becomes an afterthought rather than a life-saving tool. recent events in california, and hawaii, remind us of the urgency of improving wea. the massive wildfires that swept through northern california an in october caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents. the wea system was designed for precisely this sort of situation. when lives and property are at
stake. when a large number of americans need to receive instructions and when time is of the essence. if there are reports that officials in california chose not to use wea because it lacks precise targeting. they feared the unintended consequences of alerting too many residents and telling them to evacuate. as we just heard, the report of false alert in hawaii resulted in 38 minutes of panic and confusion, so we must continue to exercise our oversight authority. our experience with wea over the last five years and the significant submissions from the public safety community in the record support the commission's actions today. we now require that we as -- at we a's match the target area, reduce the overwarning an warning fatigue, we require that messages be preserved for 24 hours is the public can review and share alerts after they've been sent and we provide
guidance on how legacy networks and devices can continue to comply with the rules. in selecting new deadline the commission has attempted to balance the urgency we all feel to improve the wea system with the speed at which technology an standards are developing. i'm confident the commission will continue to work with all stake holders on implementing these upgrades and do so based on the recognition that working quickly and evketively together will save lives -- and effectively together will save lives. thank you to the staff of public safety and homeland security bureau for your work on this item, i'm pleased to support it. >> commissioner ro sembings nworcal. ajit: our emergency alert systems were designed for war and then used for peace. after 9/11 we reworked them. now they're used to send messages to people in imminent danger. 90 characters to the right
person at the right time in the right place can mean the difference between life and death. these messages have already saved countless lives and helped divert many more tragedies. this past year, however, exposed too many shortcomings in our emergency alert systems. jessica: but saw this with the harrowing false alert announcing a ballistic missile attack in hawaii. on top of this, last year was one of the most devastating on record for natural disasters in the united states. california experienced its most destructive and largest wildfire season, burning 1.2 million acres of land. and killing 46 people. hurricane harvey shattered rainfall records for a single tropical storm, flooding parts of texas with more than four feet of rain. puerto rico is still recovering
from when hurricane maria made landfall on the island four months ago. more than 1,000 people died in the storm and its aftermath. 30% of the island remains without power. and puerto rico is still waiting for a report and plan for communications recovery from this agency. in too many cases last year, wireless emergency alerts failed to perform. in california and texas, emergency services were unable to trabs mitt these messages because they were unable to target them accurately enough to ensure that they would help those in danger and not cause panic beyond the broader area of concern. that's troubling. moreover, it's a problem when repeated impression -- imprecision of these alert cause those who receive them to disregard warnings and wever seen this happen in areas where tornado sirens have been sounded too many times over too large of
an area, overstating the scope of teenage. that's why in november of last year, i urged the f.c.c. to act quickly to require more granular targeting before the next disaster compels us to do so. for this reason, i fully support the actions the agency is taking today. the rules we adopt here can significantly increase the precision of wireless emergency alerts. as a result, they reduce the danger of overalerting, making their use more effective, more efficient, and more likely to save lives. it's important that we do not stop here. we need to watch tech nickal issues impacting the targeted availability of wireless emergency alerts and be on guard for ways these issues can be resolve sod that everyone gets the emergency warning they need. we also need to consider multimedia use in alerts, many to one feedback -- many to one feedback and multiling wadge
messaging. the effort on these is already robust. let's do something bold. let's take them on now before the next disaster or crisis compels us to do so. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner. when disaster strikes it is essential that americans in harm's way gets reliable information so they can stay safe and protect their love ones. the wireless emergency alert system, wea, is one important tool for emergency managers to quickly convey such information such as tornado warnings to the public on their mobile devices. since wea became oringsal in 2012, it's been used over 33,000 times. ajit: recently, wea was used four times in response to wildfires in northern california 16 times more in wildfires around los angeles. wea was also used extensively in all areas affected by recent hurricanes, including 21 alerts ♪ puerto rico alone. but we've heard that many
jurisdictions are hesitant to use wea because it lacks granularity. that is, people may receive the alert even though they're located well outside of an affected target area. over alerting can cause public confusion and cause some to opt out of receiving alerts altagget, and it can hamper rescue efforts by overloading call centers or causing traffic. people shouldn't miss out on potentially life-saving information because the alert system's current brush stroke is too broad. this morning, we address this problem by bringing a finer brush to bear on the canvas. today's report in order requires participating wireless providers to deliver alerts to match 100% of the target area that overlaps with the wireless providers network coverage area. with an overshoot of no more than than one tenth of a mile. this will help channel alerts to
americans who need them. an e-- and equally important this will give originators the assurance they need to reline wea as a valuable tool to help save lives. indeed, amock the many public safety official who was endorsed this approach, harris county deputy emergency management coorduator francisco sanchez said this rule, and i quote, will be the single most important improvement to the nation's air lerts and warnings infrastructure in years. i understand that there's some division over the rules -- over the rile's november, 2019, implementation deadline. some say the schedule is too aggressive. some say it's not aggressive enough. i think it's just right. on this public safety matter, i favor an approach that i believe is aggressive and achieveable. in my view the record indicates the november tissue that november, 2019, meets this test this rule, coupled with other
improvements we adopt today, enabling consumers to retrieve alerts for 24 hours after they are received, clarifying difference between providers participating in wea in part rather than whole, an harr monoizing the deadline for implementing spanish language alerting with a deadline for implementing longer 360-character length messages, all of these things will strengthen the wea system and keep america safer. i would like to thank the staff of the public safety and homeland security bureau for all the hard work and the commitment to serving the public they have shown. rochelle kelvin, greg cook, megan henry, niki mcginnis, emily, an of course james wiley. from the office of general counsel, thanks to david, bill, and angeles. with that, we move to a vote on the item. commissioner -- >> aye. >> aye. ajit: the chair
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