Jessica Rosenworcel, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has called for more oversight over emergency alert systems in the United States, especially in light of the ballistic missile false alarm that happened in Hawaii nearly three months ago. The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet recently held a field hearing this week at the city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, and it was during this event that Commissioner Rosenworcel urged the FCC to be more vigilant in imposing more scrutiny and accountability on every state in America when they file their yearly confirmation of Emergency Alert Systems.
AT&T has recently announced this week that it has essentially completed the wireless network core of FirstNet, which means that local agencies across the United States should soon be able to start connecting to the nationwide public safety network. The national mobile operator is now into the final testing phase, which involves having a select group of customers gain access to FirstNet in the next few weeks or months if necessary.
Via a statement, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is once again urging Apple to activate support for FM radio in the tech giant’s iPhone devices, especially in light of the series of hurricanes that have hit the United States within the last couple of months. Pai also said that he has called on the mobile industry several times in the past in order to get FM chips activated in just about every recent smartphone released in the US mobile market.
Although OnePlus has gone and fixed that annoying glitch that rebooted OnePlus 5 units whenever users dialed an emergency number, many are still no doubt wondering what exactly caused the glitch in the first place. Well, the Chinese phone maker has recently released an official explanation, and it might be kind of awkward.
Just a few weeks ago, OnePlus launched their latest flagship, the OnePlus 5. The device was highly sought out by those looking for a new phone since it came with impressive specs. Imagine having a device with up to 128 gigabytes of storage, dual cameras on the back of the phone, the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, and get this -- 8 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM). With specs like those, the OnePlus 5 is definitely bound to attract the attention of smartphone enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with the phone.
Earlier this month, a service outage on AT&T’s network had left thousands of mobile users without access to 911 for a number of hours. As stated in a preliminary report recently released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), about 12,600 callers were unable to reach 911 emergency dispatchers for a period of five hours. As told by AT&T to the agency, it normally funnels around 44,000 calls through its 911 service on a daily basis, which meant that roughly 28 percent of the calls could not get through to emergency dispatchers.
Because of a “ghost call” glitch in the emergency call system in the city of Dallas in the state of Texas, a couple of deaths may have resulted. The first death is a 6 month old baby named Brandon Alex whose babysitter using a T-Mobile device could not successfully reach 911 dispatchers. The other one involves a 52 year old man named Brian Cross, whose husband, David Taffet, tried to call 911 but was put on hold for 20 minutes earlier this month. Cross later passed away at a local hospital.
The biggest social media platform around the world has decided to make its Safety Check even more useful by adding a Community Help feature to its crisis response tool. With this new addition, whenever Facebook users get marked as safe, they are then sent to a page that will help them get assistance or give a hand to those that need help in times of natural calamities and other emergencies. Users can also search posts according to location or category like food, water, shelter, transportation, infant supplies and equipment. Back in November of last year, Facebook had previewed the Community Help functionality.
Mobile users based in the United States might already be familiar with WEAs. Short for Wireless Emergency Alerts, WEAs are basically text messages (usually limited to 90 characters) that alert people regarding the weather, missing persons, or in times of emergencies and natural calamities. WEAs were implemented after the US Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act about a decade ago. Well, it turns out that WEAs can also be utilized by the person currently holding the highest office in the American nation. In other words, Donald Trump, when he officially begins his presidential term in January next year, can send text messages to just about every American.
This week, the Federal Communications Commission approved new rules that should further improve the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system. For those not familiar with WEA, it is a system designed to transmit critical warnings and notifications to American mobile users. Apart from alerts regarding weather information, natural disasters, and other emergencies, the WEA system also has Amber Alerts, which delivers notifications on children reported missing.
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