The Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is an alerting network designed to disseminate emergency alerts to mobile devices such as cell phones and pagers. The Federal Communications Commission proposed and adopted the network structure, operational procedures and technical requirements in 2007 and 2008 in response to the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (WARN Act) passed by Congress in 2006, which allocated $106 million to fund the program.
CMAS will allow federal agencies to accept and aggregate alerts from the President of the United States, the National Weather Service (NWS) and emergency operations centers, and send the alerts to participating wireless providers who may distribute the alerts to their customers via text messages. The system is a collaborative effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), although there has been some controversy regarding the willingness of FEMA to participate.
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