This year's test of the U.S. national emergency alert includes something for ISPs and network operators.
The wireless portion of the national test is scheduled 2 minutes (2:18pm EDT or 1818 UTC) before the main broadcast test at 2:20. Mobile phones usually receive the alert about a minute later. Radio and TV will receive the national alert a few minutes after 2:20pm.
iPhone iOS 17 added a new feature for Wireless Emergency Alerts. When iOS 17 iPhones get a wireless emergency alert (WEA), it will trigger a data network query for additional information. Its a small query and response, but there are a lot of iPhones making the query at the same time (I'm assuming Apple engineer's have built in some time skew).
Apple has assured FEMA that Apple's CDN and servers will be able to handle the triggered load.
The iOS 17 triggered query will either be a tiny blip in the network graphs around 2:18pm to 2:22pm which no one will notice, or some CDNs and ISP operators will be wondering what that heck that spike was.
If your phone is configured with Spanish, it will display the alert in both English and Spanish.
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
“ESTA ES UNA PRUEBA del Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia. No se necesita acción.”
You'll know your iOS17 device did an extra data query, if it displays a longer message (extra sentences) in addition to the messages above.
"This is only a test. No action is required by the public."
Do you mean the 98 people (at least) who died due to the Maui Lahaina wildfires. Seems like the same people who complain about the testing of public warning systems also complain when they don't get a warning about something that personally affected them.
Public warning systems are designed to get your attention, wake you up, interrupt what you are doing.
Nevertheless, I understand some people will remove the batteries from smoke alarms and turn off public alerts.
There are dozens of WEA alerts every day, 365x7 days a year. If you leave a hidden burner phone turned on the other 364 days a year, it will make a noise from something else. Software mute buttons never mute everything.
Some groups use once a year events to get publicity for their causes (zombies, 5G, complaints about government, whatever). Hawaii tests their state-wide siren system every month. There are likely a few people who complain they were sleeping when the sirens are tested.
People who complain about everything, will likely complain about everything.
So, this "worked". Despite me ensuring that my settings for Amber Alerts, Emergency Alerts, Public Safety Alerts, and Test Alerts are all off, my phone went nuts.
I'm in a similar situation.
Makes me wonder what I have to do to opt out of this. We all remember what happened in Hawaii.
I don't know if today's test is the same thing or not, but I remember in the last X years where there was a presidential test of the EAS and there was supposedly no way to disable it short of turning your device off.
My understanding is that -- let's go with -- lesser priority sources can be silenced, but sufficiently high priority can't be. If the device is on, it's going to make noise.
All countries in the European Union, plus at least 35 other countries around the world, have or will soon implement their county-specific version of Emergency Mobile Alerts.
Emergency alerts are built into all android, ios and other mobile phones sold in almost every country during the last 5 years. GSM standards are global. The U.S. finally changed "presidential alert" to "national alert" recently. People in countries with Prime Ministers or monarchs used to complain about Presidential Alerts, when they don't have a president.
Streaming video services currently do not have emergency alerts. So a tornado destroying you house will be your warning while streaming or watching non-broadcast and non-cable TV.