CCA Seeks Extension of Wireless Emergency Alerts Compliance Deadline

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The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) has filed with the FCC a petition for a waiver, or in the alternative, a petition for an extension of time so that some of the association’s members may be excused if they are unable to fulfill certain Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) compliance deadlines established by the FCC in its 2016 WEA Report and Order. CCA is asking “the Commission [to] waive or extend its compliance deadlines for implementing embedded references and improving geo-location requirements in emergency alerts.” Specifically, CCA wants to extend the implementation deadlines for these two items so that they align with other WEA implementation deadlines passed in the 2016 WEA Report and Order set for May 1, 2019. Under the existing rules – – adopted last fall in the 2017 WEA Report and Order – – wireless carriers who have opted-in to providing WEA are to have embedded reference and geo-location features implemented by November 1, 2017. While ideally CCA wants its non-nationwide members to have until May 1, 2019 to have these features ready, it proposed November 1, 2018 as an alternative compliance date, which could be a 12 month extension. In addition to arguing that a general extension of the deadline benefits the public interest, CCA contends that because ATIS’ Wireless Technologies and Systems Committee is still developing the relevant standards, small and rural wireless operators transitioning from 2G/3G networks to LTE networks are finding it difficult to acquire and deploy the “necessary resources…capable of supporting these requirements.”

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