Sunday October 02, 2016

Wireless Emergency Alerts Get An Upgrade

Those deafening emergency alerts will now be a bit more elaborate: the FCC has increased the length of messages from 90 to 360 characters, which will now also include links and phone numbers. There will additionally be a new class of alerts for public safety.

The Federal Communications Commission has now voted to quadruple the maximum length of the alert to 360 characters and begin including clickable hyperlinks and phone numbers in the alerts, including Amber alerts. The phone carriers will be allowed to include the URLs and numbers within about a month and required to do so in about a year. The rules for now still won't allow for photos to be directly included in the messages, but the FCC is reviewing the possibility for the future. The order approved on Thursday does, however, push for alerts to be delivered more precisely to specific areas and requires support of alerts in Spanish as well as English.