Update on Advanced Alerting to FCC Chairman

On March 21, 2019, the undersigned met with Chairman Ajit Pai and Alexander Sanjenis, acting media advisor, to provide an update on the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), which utilizes the ATSC 3.0, Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV”) broadcast transmission standard. AWARN Alliance Executive Director John Lawson described the evolution of the user experience (UX) design for AWARN advanced emergency alerts using Next Gen TV.

To improve over initial prototypes, the Alliance assembled a team of experts in social science, television design, and emergency management facilitation. In partnership with leading emergency managers, they conducted workshops and formative usability testing over September and October 2018 in Riverside, California, Maricopa County, Arizona, and New York City.

Participants included emergency managers and other public safety officials from multiple jurisdictions, who collectively are responsible for disseminating alerts to over 40 million people. The resulting UX has been utilized for new alerting use cases produced in association Ex Parte Notice: AWARN Briefing with Chairman Pai Page 2 with News-Press & Gazette Company’s KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, California and the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

The scenarios are based on an actual “debris flow” event on February 2-3 that forced a mandatory evacuation and closed the 101 Highway. The new UX and use cases will be demonstrated at the NAB Show 2019 next month. Lawson also discussed ATSC 3.0 alerting’s potential as a tool for localized emergency alerts for streaming media, which is the subject of recent legislation, ATSC 3.0 use cases for connected vehicles, and potential synergies between AWARN and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Lawson also briefed the Chairman on the current membership of the Alliance and efforts to expand the membership base for its voluntary advanced emergency communications mission.

As one of the original joint petitioners for Next Gen TV approval, Lawson expressed his gratitude on behalf of the AWARN Alliance for the Chairman’s continued support for the voluntary transmission of Next Generation Television and advanced alerting by local broadcasters.


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AWARN Advisory Council