WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) and Kim Schrier (WA-08) introduced the ALERT Parity Act in the United States House of Representatives. This legislation would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue rules for the provision of emergency connectivity service. It would enable providers of emergency connectivity services, including providers of satellite direct-to-cell service, to apply to the FCC to access spectrum to fill in commercial mobile service coverage gaps in unserved areas specifically to provide connectivity for emergency services:

“The ALERT Parity Act would ensure every American, regardless of their zip code, would be able to receive critical emergency alerts and make 911 calls. This lifesaving legislation would enable access to emergency services for areas that would otherwise not have access to cellular services – especially in rural areas like Appalachia Ohio where I represent. I am proud to have worked with Rep. Kim Schrier to introduce this important legislation in the House of Representatives. It is critical that Congress address the challenges Americans living in technologically underserved areas face when it comes to cellular connectivity,” said Rep. Bill Johnson.

“People living in many remote and rural areas in the 8th district do not have the consistent ability to make emergency 911 calls, making it all but impossible to call for help when you need it the most,” said Rep. Kim Schrier. “Satellites provide broadband to many areas but right now can’t provide access to for emergency services. That’s why I’m glad to be introducing the bipartisan ALERT Parity Act to allow the FCC to create guidelines to protect satellite companies, paving the way for satellites to provide access to emergency services. This will save lives in my district.”

For the full text of the bill, click here.