New US rule requires broadcasters to report false alerts

July 13, 2018 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission is adopting a new rule to boost the reliability of emergency alerts after Hawaii earlier this year mistakenly sent warnings to cellphones and broadcasters that a ballistic missile was heading for the state.

The commission said in a statement Thursday it will require broadcasters and other participants in the nation’s Emergency Alert System to notify the FCC when they discover they have transmitted a false alert.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says this will help the commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency identify and solve problems with the alert system.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says the notifications will help officials learn from mistakes.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii says good progress is being made to fix the alert system but more needs to be done.