The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released Order DA 13-280 that officially changes the name of the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs).  This will help clear up much of the confusion as a result of wireless carriers using the term WEA while the government used CMAS.


Millions of mobile devices have already been sold with the WEA logo on the printed materials. According to the FCC, the name change is purely “ministerial, non-substantive and editorial” in nature.  Officially, the name change will be finalized once the order is published in the Federal Register.

FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which oversees the cell broadcast system, has been using both terms and will benefit greatly from the consolidation. Although not stated, we can hopefully assume the Commission will also be eliminating the use of its other term for this system, the Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN).

The FCC is making a wise decision to eliminate two of the three different names previously used for describing the WEA/CMAS/PLAN system. This change will make promotion and awareness campaigns for the public easier to understand.

For a complete overview of how the WEA system works in combination with the FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) program, please download our whitepaper.

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