New Emergency PLAN

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission chairman, explains the new PLAN -- the Personal Localized Alerting Network for mobile phones -- that will be rolled out first in New York City. 


Julius Genachowski

Comments [16]


The podcast hasn't been updated for a few days. Any plans to start that up again? I really miss it!

May. 11 2011 08:18 PM

I was surprised at how aloof Brian was this morning and how uneducated he was about the alert system.

The EBS, or Emergency Broadcast System was discontinued a long time ago and replaced with the EAS, Emergency Alert System.

It seemed more like a publicity stunt and less an interview.

May. 11 2011 12:39 PM

Oh, I was so hoping Brian could have asked about AT&T's new metering system for broadband usage -- and net neutrality.

Drat. Missed opportunity.

And, of course, while "everyone" may have a cell phone, precious few will receive these messages as they won't do so until...when?

I realize the early adopters will spring for the newest phones, but, amazingly, not "everyone" can afford to do so.

This does sound a tad like the Fed member who said that, while volatile items like food and energy (and health insurance) had gone up, there was no real inflation since the newest iPad with greater functionality cost the same as the older version, and thus the "cost" of the iPad had actually gone down. Voila! Costs are steady! Let's see: Necessities required to live compared iPad?

Someone in the audience said, "We can't eat iPads."

Well, our leaders seem to have a "Let them eat iPads" approach to the growing income divide in this nation and the entrenched un- and DISemployment..

May. 11 2011 10:30 AM
D Franklin from NYC

So it's not voluntary. Forget it, this smacks of Big Brother and there is absolutely no valid reason for this to be mandatory. What next, the government is going to start following me around telling me what to do all the time - "for my safety". Is that the purpose behind this system?

May. 11 2011 10:24 AM

Once again the govt comes up with a way to build up fear in citizens.... Seriously how will this help?

If there is a hurricane coming I am sure I can rely on other sources (even Al Roker etc).

May. 11 2011 10:24 AM
david from ditmas park

how will this affect my phone bill?

new line item:

federal alert system charge..$$$

May. 11 2011 10:23 AM

Follow-up on the E911... How about simply transmitting GPS coordinates [assisted or direct from satellite] from cellphone?

Damn... too late. :-/

May. 11 2011 10:22 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Actually, on 9/11 the nearby cell towers were down. A mesh network from a cell phone service co. that had gone out of business (anyone remember "Ricochet"?) was reactivated & proved very useful.

May. 11 2011 10:21 AM
Rick Wimberly

Yes, this is associated with the Emergency Alert System (EAS), but it's not the same thing. Most carriers are involved. It's a voluntary program, but most have volunteered. In effect, the cell "broadcasts" will use an administrative channel on mobile devices that will be enabled as new devices are shipped. Since it's, in effect, a broadcast and not a one-to-one communications (like text messaging), bandwidth should not be an issue.

May. 11 2011 10:18 AM
D Franklin from NYC

I heard that the service will be madantory - is that true? If so, why?

May. 11 2011 10:17 AM
LL from UWS

Emergency and contingency planning should include battery-powered HAM radios and bicycle messengers to link a 'telephone tree' of emergency contacts. Each block should have its own Civil Defense team. You might ask Aton Edwards for his input on the subject of Emergency planning.

May. 11 2011 10:16 AM
Joe from NYC

Broadcasters think FM should be required on cell phones - more reliable than the mobile network that we all know didn't work after 9/11 and when the power goes out. Electrical outages make this text system worthless....

May. 11 2011 10:16 AM
Andy UK from United Kingdom

I'm unclear as to why newer phones would be required for this system. Cellular towers "know" your location down to a few dozen square miles.

May. 11 2011 10:15 AM
David from ditmas park

I don't like this. i don't wan't the government sending me texts. why is this necessary? we are surrounded by media and the, why is the FCC wanting to crawl into my phone?

why not focus on keeping net neutrality a forfront issue?

May. 11 2011 10:14 AM

Please, sir, what percentage of the population has a cell phone? I notice you say "everyone" has one, but that is not my experience.

Or, if they have one, it's regarded as an emergency only phone, since now it's almost impossible to find a public pay phone, and is primarily carried to turn on to make an emergency call and has extremely limited minutes..

May. 11 2011 10:14 AM

Who's implementing this - the carriers? With EBS/EAS, there's a clear chain of command*; with portable devices - especially given the digital cliff effect (all or nothing signals) coupled with the urban issues (line of sight requirement for the 800-900MHz/cellphone spectrum), I don't see this working. Can you just imagine: "This is a text of the Emergency Cellphone System... can you read/hear/see me now?"

(* I had to read the Red Book before I took to the mic at my high school and college radio stations.)

Plus, isn't this overlapping with the NOAA WeFax system?

May. 11 2011 10:13 AM

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