In partnership with LG/Zenith, PBS and Harris Broadcast, we pioneered a next-gen mobile alert system that could warn millions of Americans when other technologies, such as cellular fail. We worked to secure federal support and begun building-out a national, dual-use broadcasting network.
The groundbreaking Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) Pilot Project, PBS and LG Electronics/Zenith demonstrated how the system, based on the ATSC Mobile Digital TV Standard, could benefit the public by giving them instantaneous, reliable, rich media alerts anywhere, anytime. At it’s peak 160 stations nation-wide were (and many still are) broadcasting a mobile DTV signal. The ATSC ratified the new mobile standard ATSC M/H and the emergency alerting standard ATSC M/H 153 was later passed too.
The M-EAS Pilot Project which transmitted via mobile DTV signals with rich media emergency alert content for simulated national and local emergency scenarios, included a suspicious package threat, an approaching tornado, an AMBER Alert and impending tsunami.
Beyond life-saving emergency broadcasts and simple text alerts, this system had far-reaching public safety benefits – both for first responders who need to access critical information, and for federal and state agencies to instantly reach millions of Americans with a single broadcast.
The broadcasting industry was not quick to adopt MDTV and due mainly to rights issues and negotiations, Mobile DTV did not prosper in this iteration of the technology. ATSC is now transitioning to a new broadcasting standard, known as ATSC 3.0. Mobile video is inherent in the new standard, meaning there is no splitting of the signal, and therefore no longer the same issues surrounding rights. Advanced emergency alerts are also inherent in the new standard. M-EAS has transitioned to this new broadcasting standard, and has been re-born as AWARN.
Through AWARN our public and policy outreach continues.