The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is joining broadcasters, technology companies, and public safety agencies to develop and deploy the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), the world’s most advanced emergency alerting system, as part of the shift to Next-Generation television. By leveraging the new features of ATSC 3.0 (next-gen TV), the AWARN Alliance is […]
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is joining broadcasters, technology companies, and public safety agencies to develop and deploy the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN), the world’s most advanced emergency alerting system, as part of the shift to Next-Generation television.
By leveraging the new features of ATSC 3.0 (next-gen TV), the AWARN Alliance is creating a system that it says “can deliver geo-targeted, rich-media emergency messages to a wide range of enabled consumer devices, including 4K Ultra HD television sets, tablets, smart phones, and connected cars. AWARN alerts will provide a major upgrade to the alerting systems available to the American public today.”
Television broadcasters and consumer technology companies are planning for the voluntary adoption the 3.0 technical standard, pending approval by the FCC.
“Having CTA assume a leading role in the AWARN Alliance is a major step forward for advanced emergency alerting. CTA represents the device makers that are essential to creating the Next Gen TV ‘ecosystem’ that is the backbone for delivering the new alerts,” said John Lawson, executive director of the AWARN Alliance. “CTA also brings enormous technical and operational know-how in helping us create the voluntary roadmap to an end-to-end system.”
“The AWARN Alliance represents the market-based innovation that CTA embraces,” said CTA President-CEO Gary Shapiro. “CTA and the Alliance have already joined forces with the National Association of Broadcasters and America’s Public Television Stations in requesting the FCC adopt minimal new rules for the voluntary implementation of Next Gen TV. We are happy to extend that support to help bring to life one of the key public benefits of Next Gen TV: advanced emergency alerting with AWARN.”
Next-gen TV was launched in South Korea on May 31 and is on track for initial launches in the U.S. in 2018-19, assuming that the FCC rulemaking concludes this year as expected.
Examples of the rich media alerts enabled by the AWARN system include photos, surveillance video, storm tracks, inundation maps, evacuation routes, airborne chemical plume models, and safety instructions.
The system also can provide shelter locations, hospital wait times, and other recovery information after a disaster, even if cellular networks and the electric grid are down. In addition, the system can deliver Blue Alerts and safety information such as highway hazards.
The AWARN Alliance membership includes commercial and public broadcasters who reach over 85 percent of U.S. households, the NAB, LG Electronics, the Interactive Television Alliance and a growing number of U.S. and Korean technology companies and service providers.
A new AWARN Advisory Committee of major alert originators was just announced. It includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Weather Service and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.
CTA will collaborate with the AWARN Alliance and Advisory Committee in the second half of the year to focus on technical and operational details of the advance alerting system in preparation for the U.S. launch of next-gen TV products and services.