The Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance is an international coalition of broadcasters, consumer electronics makers, B2B tech companies, and trade associations that is using the emerging technology of NEXTGEN TV to greatly improve public alerting and informing. We are creating a framework of best practices for a next generation emergency messaging (NGEM) system: a “network of networks” built on the resilient backbone of ATSC 3.0, that is based upon and enhanced by technology innovation, synergistic workflows, and input from diverse community stakeholders.

The AWARN Vision

Save lives and protect communities by leveraging advanced emergency alerting, news, and information powered by ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV.

The AWARN Mission

  • Educate, promote, advocate and collaborate to support the successful rollout of ATSC 3.0-powered advanced emergency communications
  • Educate key stakeholders about our vision
  • Promote implementation progress
  • Advocate for policies that encourage voluntary innovation without regulations
  • Encourage collaboration across the broadcasting and public safety ecosystem

AWARN Alliance: NEXTGEN Innovation and Leadership

Broadcasters have the spectrum, the infrastructure, the trust of their communities, and now, the technology to provide a whole new level of public safety for their communities. The diverse stakeholders and industry players in the AWARN Alliance are coming together to answer the “what” question about advanced alerting, while our tech members and partners are answering “how.” AWARN is the place to exchange ideas and foster innovation among cooperative competitors.

ATSC 3.0 Key Features

  • Built on the same Internet Protocol backbone as today’s popular streaming media platforms
  • Designed to bring together Over-the-Air with Over-the-Top content
  • Delivers better video quality and immersive audio to viewers
  • Provides the capability of Advanced Emergency Alerting and Informing
  • Easily adaptable for future technologies

NEXTGEN Alerting and Informing

ATSC 3.0 is more than TV – it is a flexible, cutting edge technology platform that can serve as a resilient backbone for in integrated “network of networks.” NEXTGEN Alerting will be resilient, geo-targeted, interoperable, and will even carry rich media – in short, it will revolutionize the way we alert and inform the public before, during, and after emergencies.

How it Works

When fully deployed, can deliver geo-targeted, rich-media alerts to an unlimited number of enabled TVs, connected cars, and handheld devices even when cellular fails or the grid is down.

The Capabilities

  • Next-generation emergency messaging: geo-targeting and rich media (evacuation routes, flooding maps, images, etc.) for alerts and post-alert recovery information
  • Interoperability: Can be the backbone of a “network of networks”
  • No bottlenecks: can bypass bandwidth bottlenecks that overload current cellular-based systems.
  • Hardened: Broadcast stations, with back-up generators and fuel reserves, stay on the air even when electricity is cut.
  • Accessible & Multilingual: Text-to-speech and vibrate-upon-alert are enabled by Next-gen technology.
  • Geo-targeting: Reduces over-alerting by precise geo-coding to only those who are in danger.
  • Encryption if needed: Can simultaneously send public alerts while and critical information to first responders.
  • Seamless Integration: Built to the CAP standard and designed for seamless incorporation into the U.S. Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS)

Benefits of AWARN Membership

New Tech for Public Good: Help save lives and protect communities with new technology. Build a powerful network to highlight your company’s leadership in using NEXTGEN TV to improve communities locally and nationally

The Pulse of NEXTGEN TV: Access cutting edge information about NEXTGEN TV tech and deployments. Gain a competitive edge by helping to determine the future of emergency alerting, news, and information

Voluntary Alerting Solutions: Participate in upcoming Regional Roundtables to develop model local agreements between emergency managers and TV stations. Help create a market in the hardware, software, and services space in alerting, news, and weather.

Executive Director

John Lawson serves as Executive Director of the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance, an international coalition of broadcasting, consumer electronics, and professional tech companies. The Alliance is leveraging Next Generation Television (ATSC 3.0) to develop an advanced system for emergency alerting, news, and information.

He’s also President of Convergence Services, Inc, a consulting firm focused on spectrum, resilience, Next Gen TV business models, and the Intelligent Transportation Industry.

John was one of four signatories to the original Joint Petition that led to FCC approval of ATSC 3.0 transmission in 2017. John served on FEMA’s National Advisory Council IPAWS Subcommittee (2017-2018) and graduated from FEMA’s Emergency Management Executive Academy (2018). He was an expert panelist at the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit in 2016 and has served on three FCC emergency communications advisory committees.

John began his work on advanced alerting while CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations during the 9/11 attacks. He was Executive VP of ION Media Networks and Executive Director of the Mobile500 Alliance. Board service includes the National Association of Broadcasters, the Open Mobile Video Coalition, and Senior Warden of Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

His awards include the Individual Technology Leadership Award from TV of Tomorrow in 2018 and the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers Award from CES in 2008. John earned BA and MA degrees in International Studies at the University of South Carolina.