TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) have connected its Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s alert aggregator using a customized implementation of TCS' Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) gateway product. When fully operational, PBS WARN will allow cellular providers a free backup method of receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) messages. The connection to FEMA is a key step in implementing the WARN project and providing this service to cellular companies.
- The PBS WARN system will deliver CMAS emergency alerts (also known as WEA) via free, over-the-air digital TV signals broadcast by PBS member stations and other non-commercial licensees who receive the PBS satellite feed. Cell phone subscribers of participating carriers in the geo-targeted area will receive these critical messages as 90-character text messages with a unique alert tone.
- WEA messages include presidential emergency alerts, AMBER Alerts and warnings of imminent national and local threats to life and property, such as natural and man-made disasters.
- Serving as a redundant pathway for the FEMA's WEA emergency notifications, the PBS WARN system will provide wireless carriers with a reliable and cost-effective method for strengthening their connection to FEMA and ensuring that mobile subscribers stay informed during times of emergency.
- Established by the WARN Act in 2006, WEA is a voluntary national emergency alert system that is designed to deliver critical messages to the public.
- This standards-based service utilizes the Common Alert Protocol (CAP), the international next generation emergency alert standard, and allows government entities to more quickly and easily issue emergency alerts to a mobile operator¹s subscribers in geo-targeted areas. By utilizing this international standard, mobile operators are able to tie directly into a government¹s existing alert stream that may already be used with radio and TV broadcast mediums.
- As one of the few vendors serving national mobile network operators, the U.S. government and public safety officials, TCS provides mission-critical, life-saving technology that is currently deployed and field tested with national and regional commercial mobile service providers (CMSPs).
- TCS¹ CMAS is built on the proven, patented and highly resilient TCS Voyager platform, used today in emergency-based and mission-critical TCS solutions.
- The PBS WARN system is based on a customized implementation of TCS¹ CMAS gateway product, is FEMA-certified with full compliance to the J-STD-101 ³C² interface specification and has been independently validated and verified by FEMA using the J-STD-102 standard test plan.