Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN) (technically the Commercial Mobile Alert System or CMAS) is
|“||a new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically- targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. This new technology ensures that emergency alerts will not get stuck in highly congested user areas, which can happen with standard mobile voice and texting services. PLAN enables government officials to target emergency alerts to specific geographic areas through cell towers (e.g. lower Manhattan), which pushes the information to dedicated receives in PLAN-enabled mobile devices.||”|
PLAN complements the existing Emergency Alert System, which is implemented by the FCC and FEMA at the federal level through broadcasters and other media service providers. Like the Emergency Alert System, which is a modernization of the earlier Emergency Broadcast System (1963-1997), PLAN is intended to keep up with new technologies that can keep Americans safer. This modern, integrated and complementary alert system provides significant public safety roles for broadcasters, cable service providers, wireless service providers and other service providers.
Wireless companies volunteer to participate in PLAN—technically called the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). PLAN is the result of a unique public/private partnership between the FCC, FEMA, and the wireless industry with the singular objective of enhanced public safety.
PLAN is the implementation of the Commercial Mobile Alert Service as required by the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (WARN Act). The WARN Act requires participating wireless carriers to activate PLAN technology by a deadline determined by the FCC, which is April 2012. Participants that will offer PLAN ahead of schedule include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.