KNOXVILLE (WATE) – U.S. Cellular has issued an apology after dozens of people reported receiving multiple area emergency test alerts Monday.
The cellular provider issued a statement to WKOW-TV in Madison, Wisconsin, stating:
While conducting an upgrade of U.S. Cellular’s Wireless Emergency Alerts platform, a FEMA test alert was inadvertently broadcast to our customers across our entire footprint. That test alert will no longer be deployed, and we apologize for the inconvenience and concern the test alert may have caused.
The alerts, which are part of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are supposed to be used as a quick way to provide the public with information quickly during an emergency. Federal, state and local authorities can use the alerts.
WATE 6 On Your Side viewers reported receiving numerous alerts on their phones, as did U.S. Cellular customers around the nation. U.S. Cellular advised users they can temporarily disable the alerts in their mobile device settings.