Telecom Decision CRTC 2018-85
Ottawa, 8 March 2018
Public record: 8621-C12-01/08
CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee – Consensus report on a proposed wireless public alerting awareness and education campaign
- In Implementation of the National Public Alerting System by wireless service providers to protect Canadians, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-91, 6 April 2017 (Telecom Regulatory Policy 2017-91), the Commission directed wireless service providers (WSPs) to implement wireless public alerting (WPA) capability on their networks, excluding pre-long-term evolution (LTE) networks, by 6 April 2018. The Commission also requested that the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) resolve a number of outstanding issues related to WPA prior to the mandatory distribution of emergency alert messages, including (i) the creation of a WPA public awareness and education campaign, and (ii) the establishment of a WPA test alert schedule and methodology.
- Regarding the WPA public awareness and education campaign, the Commission requested that CISC report on the following:
- who should be responsible for the campaign;
- what material the campaign should include;
- how the campaign should be funded;
- how the campaign should be delivered; and
- when the campaign should start.
- The Commission received the following consensus report, dated 29 September 2017, from the WPA Public Awareness Ad-hoc Working Group (WPWG):Footnote 1
- Wireless Public Alerting Public Awareness Working Group – Final Report (WPRE0002)
- The consensus report can be found in the “Reports” section of the WPWG page, which is available in the CISC section of the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca.
- The Commission also received two consensus reports from the CISC Network Working Group regarding the establishment of a WPA test alert schedule and methodology, which will be addressed in a separate decision.
- As part of the WPWG’s report, WSPs indicated that to create awareness of the existence of WPA as part of the National Public Alerting System, they may send, for the first two years of implementation of WPA, a minimum of one text message per year to their LTE customers in regions where WPA test messages are being issued. The WPWG also made recommendations regarding a WPA public awareness and education campaign, including the following:
- A multi-stakeholder group should be formed to share information and coordinate the campaign.
- The campaign should focus on key messages that would increase awareness of WPA.
- The WPWG’s Creative BriefFootnote 2 should be used to assist in the development of key campaign messages.
- A list of frequently asked questions should be developed before the launch of any WPA-related activities.
- In-kind contributions and activities of each stakeholder organization are the most practical way to educate Canadians before the launch of WPA.
- Pelmorex Weather Networks (Television) Inc. (Pelmorex),Footnote 3 as the current National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System operator, should be supported by the NAAD System Governance Council and other stakeholders in revising its current Alert Ready campaign to include WPA, including a radio, television, and digital/social media campaign as appropriate.
- A campaign start date should be selected to coordinate the WPA public awareness and education campaign. The first campaign should start at least 30 days before the first scheduled visible test message.
- After the first year, campaign content should continue to be available through social media, mobile advertisements, written public service announcements, and media outreach.
Subsequent requests for information
- In response to a Commission staff request for information, the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management’s (SOREM) Public Alerting Working Group (PAWG) stated that (i) subsequent to the submission of the WPWG’s report, Pelmorex has taken a leadership role in the WPA public awareness and education campaign, building upon the work accomplished for previous Alert Ready campaigns, (ii) federal/provincial/territorial communications stakeholders, along with WSPs and broadcasters, have been invited to take part in two Pelmorex-led working groups regarding the campaign, and (iii) the campaign is planned to be launched on 19 March 2018.
- In response to Commission staff’s request for information, certain WSPs confirmed that they are willing to commit to sending at least one text message per year to their LTE customers in regions where WPA test messages are being issued, for the first two years of WPA implementation. These WSPs further committed to (i) providing all resources related to sending out these text messages, and (ii) ensuring that the content of the messages is consistent among WSPs.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The Commission considers that (i) the WPWG has adequately responded to the Commission’s report request regarding the WPA public awareness and education campaign, and (ii) the actions and commitments outlined in the WPWG’s report will ensure that Canadians will benefit from the distribution of public emergency alerts over wireless LTE networks. Specifically, the WPWG’s recommendations on the campaign, which build upon the existing Alert Ready campaign, will contribute to the effectiveness and increase awareness of WPA. The recommendations are also consistent with Telecom Regulatory Policy 2017-91, since they demonstrate coordinated efforts among a wide range of WPA-related stakeholders.
- In light of the above, the Commission approves the WPWG’s consensus report regarding the WPA public awareness and education campaign. The Commission expects WSPs, for the first two years of WPA implementation, to
- send a minimum of one text message per year to their LTE customers in regions where WPA test messages are being issued, and
- provide all resources related to sending out these text messages and ensure that the content of the messages is consistent among WSPs.
- The Commission notes that the WPA public awareness and education campaign will begin sufficiently in advance of the 6 April 2018 deadline for WSPs to implement WPA capability on their LTE networks. Accordingly, it is the Commission’s intention to require WSPs to distribute public emergency alerts as of 6 April 2018. The start date will be confirmed in the Commission’s decision on the CISC reports regarding the WPA test alert schedule and methodology.
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