Saturday, October 25, 2014

 

FEMA Erroneous emergency warnings irk AT&T U-verse subscribers

AT&T U-verse subscribers were seething when bogus federal agency emergency warnings had them waiting in anticipation. False alerts asked AT&T U-verse fiber optic subscribers to standby for a message from the White House. The false alerts were erroneously injected into the U-verse network by FEMA broadcasts.

AT&T has confirmed that it has accidently transmitted an emergency alert message from FEMA to U-Verse consumers. The message was transmitted to U-Verse consumers in parts of Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and Mississippi.

U-Verse is the fiber optic service of AT&T and consumer’s Television screens were adorned with red banners in the affected areas alerting them that there was an important message inbounds.

AT&T spokeswoman stated, “A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) investigation indicates that a nationally syndicated radio show not affiliated with AT&T accidentally sent a message over the National Emergency Alert System. This false message was carried on our network, as well as some other providers. We apologize to our customers.”


The false message could be best described as a nuisance since it did not cause much damage or panic. The alert led to consumers rooted near their phone lines waiting for the nonexistent message from White House.

The alert message read,  “We interrupt our programming at the request of the White House. This is the Emergency Alert System. All normal programming has been discontinued during this emergency.”

The alert message started popping up on screens around 10 A.M on October 24th.

FEMA spokesperson Rafael Lemaitre stated, “This morning, there was an inappropriate playing of the national emergency alert notification tones on a syndicated radio broadcast. There is not a national emergency. Today’s broadcast triggered alert notification in states where the alert has been played.”

FEMA spokesperson stated that the organization was working in tandem with FCC to calculate the gravity of the situation.

FEMA spokesperson further added, “Certain alerts, like the one broadcast today, are designed to be automatically picked up and rebroadcast by other radio and TV stations. FEMA and the FCC are currently working with broadcasters to determine the full scope of the situation.”
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