With a set of new rules proposed today, the FCC says it wants to make some major expansions to the wireless emergency alerts system, which officials use to relay information on emergencies like severe weather or amber alerts.
The FCC first instituted the alerts system in 2012, but says it can now be improved, and is focusing on a few specific areas in the proposed rules. First, the content of the message: the FCC wants a new system that increases the maximum character count for messages from 90 to 360, and that lets officials place embedded phone numbers and URLs in messages.
The agency is also looking into making more targeted alerts that reach only the communities where an alert is most relevant, as well as making it easier for local officials to use the alerts, and to train authorities who'll need to use them down the line. Along with those proposals, it's asking about the feasibility of future improvements to the system, like creating multilingual alerts.
The FCC will now open up public comments on the proposal before eventually voting on final rules.