National Emergency Error Alert Surprises Television Viewers

27 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

AT&T U-Verse sends out erroneous emergency alert.

AT&T U-verse customers in Georgia and elsewhere across the country got an alarming but erroneous message on their TV screens Friday morning implying that there was a national emergency.Morning television viewers across several states got a jolt Friday when a radio broadcast erroneously triggered an alert of an emergency warning system generally reserved for moments of national distress.Television viewers were startled by a fake Emergency Alert announcement Friday claiming to come from the White House, prompting fears of an imminent threat from Ebola or ISIS.Wireless carrier AT&T on Saturday apologized to U-verse subscribers after a false emergency warning was issued through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The warning reportedly flashed to viewers in Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Georgia and areas in southern Mississippi and automatically changed to local NBC news affiliate. We apologize for any inconvenience.” In Austin, Texas, another area affected by the errant message, AT&T spokeswoman Briana Gowing told the American-Statesmen, “we’re trying to get this problem fixed as quickly as possible.” FEMA and the FCC are currently working with broadcasters to determine the full scope of the situation.” The warning was an unpleasant early-hours surprise for some AT&T U-verse subscribers in states including Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas, and they took to Twitter for an explanation.

The radio and TV stations do not have the power to interrupt or dismiss the Emergency Alert signal as it is automatically sent by the federal government. “There was an inappropriate playing of the national emergency alert notification tones on a syndicated radio broadcast,” said FEMA spokesman Rafael Lemaitre. “Certain alerts, like the one broadcast today, are designed to be automatically picked up and rebroadcasted by other radio and TV station. The false warning “was carried on our network, as well as some other providers,” an AT&T spokesman said in an updated statement on Friday. “We apologize to our customers.”

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