Public consultation for BEREC guidelines on how to assess the effectiveness of public warning systems transmitted by different means

03 February 2020

These guidelines are provided by BEREC in response to the task set in article 110(2) of the Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11th December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (hereinafter EECC) to assist member states in assessing the effectiveness of alternative Public Warning Systems using means of electronic communications services (hereinafter ECS-PWS).

The document has the following structure:

  1. Chapter 1 sets out the relevant background on ECS-PWS’ and a detailed description of the task provided by article 110 EECC, focusing on BEREC’s requirement to publish guidelines on how to assess whether the effectiveness of public warning systems under article 110(2) EECC are equivalent to the effectiveness of those under article 110(1) EECC.
  2. Chapter 2 illustrates BEREC’s interpretation of the scope of article 110 EECC, including legal considerations as well as information on the relevant ECS-PWS’ (Cell Broadcast, Location-based SMS and ECS-PWS’ using an on-device application making use of an internet access service, hereinafter IAS-PWS’).
  3. Chapter 3 describes the methodology BEREC proposes, which is essentially a guideline of steps to assess the equivalence of effectiveness of ECS-PWS’. It contains three main sections.
    1. Section 3.1 describes the criteria derived from the EECC the methodology proposes to assess the performance of each type ECS-PWS in order to make them comparable. It does so by describing the two main-criteria mentioned by the EECC (coverage and capacity to reach end-users) and a set of sub-criteria, which can be summarised under the main-criteria, and in BEREC’s view help to substantiate them.
    2. Section 3.2 describes how competent authorities may establish a benchmark for the assessment of the equivalence of relevant ECS-PWS falling under article 110(2) EECC (IAS-PWS). To create the benchmark, BEREC proposes analysing the performance of the relevant ECS-PWS falling under article 110(1) EECC (Cell Broadcast and Location-based SMS) by assessing them against the proposed criteria and sub-criteria established in section 3.1. For the assessment by the competent authorities, BEREC has compiled an initial assessment for each sub-criterion. The level of detail in the assessment of each sub-criterion varies as for some sub-criteria the performance of an ECS-PWS depends on national circumstances like the network-structure or the geographic dispersion of end-users in a Member State.
    3. Section 3.3 then describes how competent authorities may assess their envisioned IAS-PWS against the benchmark created in section 3.2. In this section, BEREC provides general information for the consideration of competent authorities when assessing the performance of their envisioned IAS-PWS against the criteria and sub-criteria and for the final step of the methodology - when assessing the envisioned IAS-PWS against the benchmark.

In addition to comments on the document, stakeholders are invited in particular to answer the following questions related to the minimum operational requirements a public warning system should be able to fulfil in their opinion:

1) What are the minimum operational requirements that you would expect from a public warning system operator with regard to the criteria of coverage and capacity to reach end-users? In particular, what are your expectations with regard to targeting concerned end-users in a specific geographical area (required minimum geographical granularity)?

2) In your experience, what is the ratio (in percentage) of the number of events that trigger a public warning message that can be assigned to each of the following size of targeted area?

  1. targeted area with population up to 5 000;
  2. targeted area with population up to 50 000;
  3. targeted area with population up to 500 000;
  4. targeted area with population up to 2 million;
  5. targeted area with population up to 10 million;
  6. targeted area with population above 10 million.

3) If your Member State has already rolled out a public warning system using means of electronic communications services (ECS-PWS), how well does it meet your expectations in terms of geographical coverage, population coverage and overall capacity to reach end-users?

Practical details of the public consultation

In accordance with the BEREC policy on public consultations, BEREC will publish a summary of all received contributions, respecting confidentiality requests.

The public consultation will run from 11 of December 2019 to 31 January 2020. 

All stakeholders are invited to submit their contributions to the following e-mail address:  [email protected]. Further enquiries about the consultation including registration with the online platform may also be submitted to this address.

The overall size of the e-mail (including attachments) should not be larger than 2 MB. 

After submitting the contribution via e-mail, an automatic reply will be generated. If this confirmation e-mail is not received, the submission of the contribution was not successful and it should be submitted again.

We strongly encourage all stakeholders to submit their contributions as early as possible. Contributions received after the above mentioned deadline will not be taken into account.

Contributions should preferably be sent in English. 

This public consultation is organised mainly in BEREC online public consultation platform  in a way that allows participants to submit their comments, to provide feedback on comments and parts of the text or to upload their public or confidential files in every section.

It also provides the possibility to download the “word” consultation document for organisations and stakeholders that would like to share it with their partners to consolidate their views and comments in a single file input.

A single file input can be also uploaded on the platform at any “Add comment” section of the discussion, ensuring the classification of this input as public or confidential.

However, in case you send your comments by e-mail, your answers should be organised according to the requested structure (i.e. paragraph by paragraph) in order to facilitate processing the responses. 

All contributions will be published on the BEREC website, taking into account requests for confidentiality and publication of personal data. Any such requests should be clearly indicated as: “Consider this contribution as confidential” or, if submitted via e-mail, by clearly stating which information is considered confidential. 

Please note that it is also possible to submit both a confidential and a public version of your contribution on the email address: [email protected] .