WHUT-TV today became the first television station in the Washington, D.C. to commit to launching the new Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS).
Announced at a Capitol Hill event celebrating the commercial launch of mobile TV, WHUT’s role is significant because its signal reaches more than 2 million area viewers, providing a lifeline to citizens and first-responders alike during times of natural and manmade disasters.
Howard University Television’s participation in the implementation phase of M-EAS also is noteworthy because of WHUT’s status as the only Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station licensed to and operated by a predominantly African-American institution.
The new M-EAS is designed to leverage mobile digital TV broadcasting to deliver reliable, rich media alerts anywhere, anytime. Prototype LG mobile phones demonstrated on Capitol Hill today offer not only audio and visual indications of emergency alerts, but also include a vibrating mode to notify all users (including those who might be visually impaired) about an emergency.
WHUT’s plans to launch the M-EAS service follows a year-long, successful M-EAS pilot project where enhanced emergency alerts were transmitted and received through prototype equipment deployed in Massachusetts, Alabama and Nevada.
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