CSRIC to Meet December 3

The FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) will meet on December 3 at the Commission’s Washington headquarters for the third time under its current charter, the agency announced today in the Federal Register.


FCC Grants WEA Waiver Extension

On November 19, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau granted the Federal Emergency Management Agency a second extension of a waiver to allow FEMA to transmit a wireless emergency alert (WEA) attention signal in public service announcements. The bureau adopted the order in PS dockets 15-91 and 07-287.

Courtesy TRDaily


AWN Gets Text-to-911 Waiver

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today granted the Alaska Wireless Network LLC (AWN) a one-year waiver of the Dec. 31, 2014, deadline to be able to send texts to public safety answering points. In the order in PS dockets 11-153 and 10-255, the bureau noted that AWN cited technical limitations it faced “associated with routing 911 text messages on its LTE networks operating in tandem with its GSM/UMTS networks.” It has told the FCC that it has a contract with a vendor that will allow it to send texts by Dec. 31 of this year, the bureau said.

“As a condition of the waiver, we require AWN to submit a final certification no later than December 31, 2015 that it is text-capable as required by our rules,” the bureau said. “Finally, we note that AWN filed this waiver request on the day of the deadline it sought to waive, and therefore we remind AWN and other licensees that requests for waivers of the Commission’s rules must be filed in a timely manner. In particular, we strongly encourage parties seeking waiver relief from Commission deadlines to file their requests as far in advance of the applicable deadline as possible.”

Courtesy TRDaily


Los Angeles Opts Out of LA-RICS System

The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 yesterday to opt out of membership in the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS). A report prepared by the city cited, among other things, the estimated $18 million cost for the city to build its own land mobile radio system for the Los Angeles Police Department by 2017, compared with the $149 million cost to build the LA-RICS LMR system. The city, however, will remain an affiliate member of LA-RICS. LA-RICS has been plagued by a number of problems as it sought to build out its network, including objections from fire fighters and city residents.

Courtesy TRDaily



DHS’s Cybersecurity Improving, Needs More Work, Audit Says

Some components of the Department of Homeland Security operated information systems that hadn’t been adequately vetted, and the department’s “secret” and “top secret” systems were not included in security evaluations required by the Office of Management and Budget, according to a report issued today by the DHS inspector general.  Overall, DHS has taken steps to improve its information security programs but needs to do more, the report said.  The inspector general offered six recommendations, including ensuring that the department’s components comply with security requirements “throughout the year instead of peaking in compliance” just before submission of annual security reports.

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC Proposes Rules to Improve Wireless Emergency Alerts

The FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking on November 19 proposing ways to improve wireless emergency alerts (WEA) three years after carriers began transmitting them, including by increasing the length of messages, enabling alerts to include URLs and embedded phone numbers, and requiring wireless carriers to deliver alerts to smaller geographic areas.

The NPRM adopted in PS docket 15-91 at today’s monthly meeting follows up on a report approved in December 2014 by the FCC’s Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) (TRDaily, Dec. 3, 2014).

A CSRIC working group that prepared the report recommended that the FCC modify its WEA rules to increase the number of characters that can be displayed in WEAs from 90 to 280 and to allow carriers to transmit alerts that originators have geo-targeted. Among other things, the report also recommended additional training for alert originators and development and testing for enhanced WEA deployment.

However, industry representatives expressed concern with some improvements, including providing graphical information in alerts. The report recommended a feasibility study on graphical enhancements and geographic targeting.

Comments are due 30 days after “Federal Register” publication, and replies are due 60 days after that.

The NPRM adopted today proposes to increase the length of WEA messages from 90 to 360 characters, permit alerts to include embedded phone numbers and URLs, establish a new class of emergency government information alerts to enable public safety advisories such as “boil water” recommendations or shelter locations in emergencies, require carriers to deliver alerts to smaller geographic areas that are more relevant to the public, and facilitate WEA service testing by state and local authorities and personnel training. Continue reading