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U.S. – FCC Grants Limited Waiver of WEA Rules

On October 4, 2023 at approximately 2:18 pm EDT, mobile devices throughout the United States and its territories will receive a test message from the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test system, followed by a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) approximately two minutes later. Wednesday, October 11, 2023 is designated as the back-up date for the test.

The WEA test message will state “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) granted a limited waiver of its WEA rules to permit Participating Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) Providers to participate in this Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) nationwide end-to-end WEA test.

The limited waiver had several conditions including that FEMA fully implement the pre-test outreach and coordination plan including multimedia public announcements as described in their waiver request to ensure that the millions of recipients do not erroneously conclude that the test message is an actual alert.

FEMA will conduct a public survey and will review the detailed feedback required from the participating CMS providers to assess the emergency alerting capabilities/shortcomings and any necessary expansion or enhancements.

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