FEMA: don't worry about national SMS alert system, we gots it

The FCC has already given its stamp of approval on a system to modernize the US' ages-old emergency broadcast infrastructure, relying largely on voluntary participation by the nation's wireless carriers to help get the word out to their subscribers in the event of a crisis. Left open, though, was the question of exactly who would be responsible for taking the reigns at the federal level, managing the system and overseeing alerts. After some initial concern that it didn't have the necessary legal authority to manage the system durning non-emergencies, FEMA has finally taken the bull by the horns and thrown its hat in the ring to get the infrastructure in place. The agency's first responsibility will be to develop and publish a protocol for the alerts -- something it hopes to have accomplished in the next one to two months -- with public availability of the production system coming in 12 to 18 months.