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REPOST: [coldwarcomms] NAWAS refurbishment and Digital EAS via public TV

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  • Albert LaFrance
    ... From: jmgreene83 To: Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 11:16 PM Subject: [coldwarcomms] NAWAS
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 20, 2006
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "jmgreene83" <jmgreene83@...>
      To: <coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2006 11:16 PM
      Subject: [coldwarcomms] NAWAS refurbishment and Digital EAS via public TV

      Two items spotted in Federal Computer Week:

      1) The National Warning System is a bit under the weather -
      DHS wants a contractor to refurbish the 24-hour emergency
      telephone network that links the National Warning System with
      governors' offices and emergency officials in 50 states. The system
      is operated by FEMA at its Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center
      in Virginia.
      FEMA intends to negotiate with Communications Laboratories, Inc.
      of Melbourne, Florida to replace the equipment, but also wants other
      qualified contractors to offer descriptions of their services and
      pricing within 15 days. The agency said it would decide whether to
      seek competitive bids for the project ater those proposals are
      The warning system was developed in the 1950s so that the federal
      government would have immediate voice communications with governors
      and othr nonmilitary officials in case of a nuclear attack. It has
      since evolved to provide warnings of terrorism attacks, severe
      weather, natural disasters, and other incidents.

      2) Public TV enlisted for alert system -
      Most people living in the Gulf Coast region prbably heard of
      Hurricane Katrina's approach from the media. But once the hurricane
      struck, silencing many TV and radio transmitters, emergency alerts
      about area flooding, evacuation routes, and aid were sporadic.
      ...The 2006 hurricane season may be different. Nine hurricane-
      threatened states are implementing DHS's new Digital Emergency Alert
      System in a pilot project this summer, sponsored with public
      television stations.
      The pilot relies on a new digital system intended to upgrade and
      expand the nation's Emergency Alert System that dates back at least
      four decades. The new system would offer more capablities than the
      patchwork of technologies and procedures used now to distribute
      alerts in states and localities.
      The new system uses public TV transmitters to digitally broadcast
      emergency alerts. Cell phones, pagers, e-mail applications and
      devices, and other broadcasters are among the systems and tools that
      can receive and instantly retransmit the system's wireless signals.
      The technology complies with the Common Alerting Protocol, an XML
      standard approved by the Organization for the Advancement of
      Structured Information Standards and endorsed by DHS.
      The project in the hurricane belt began in July and is expected
      to begin deployment this fall, said Edward Czarnecki, VP of Gov't
      solutions for SpectraRep Inc of Chantilly, Va., the company selected
      by the Association of Public Television to provide integration and
      project management services for the digital alert system.
      The digital broadcasting technology has been proven to work for
      transmitting emergency messages in tests DHS did in the Washington
      area. "This is a fully operational system that works," said
      Work is being done, Czarenecki said, to link the alerts with cell
      phone companies, Internet service providers, and other
      telecommunications and IT service providers to relay the alerts
      directly to cell phones, e-mail, pagers, etc.
      Many legacy IT systems can receive alerts but are not fully
      compatible with the Common Alerting Protocol, he said.
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