Combined WEA/EAS Nationwide Test Scheduled for Thursday, September 20th 2018

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The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released a public notice informing all Participating Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) Providers, all Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants, and the general public, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, will conduct a nationwide, combined Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)/EAS test at 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Thursday, September 20, 2018.  At that time, FEMA will send a WEA test message to WEA-capable devices throughout the entire United States and its territories. This combined WEA/EAS test is feasible after the FCC simultaneously adopted an order granting Participating CMS Providers a limited waiver of the Commission’s WEA rules to make possible a nationwide, end-to-end test in conjunction with the EAS. This first-ever combined test will be delivered using the Presidential-level alert classification. The WEA version of the test message will state: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”   At 2:20 p.m. EDT, immediately after the WEA nationwide test, FEMA will conduct a live test of the EAS. All EAS Participants are required to participate in this nationwide test, which will require the transmission of a lengthier scripted message. The test’s back-up date is Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

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