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What Are CISA's Priority Telecommunications Services?



Public phone booths.
Financial institutions have access to priority telecommunications service in emergencies and times of crisis. Learn how your organization can opt into these services now.

Financial institutions (FIs) belong to the Financial Services Sector, which is one of 16 National Critical Infrastructure sectors.


As such, FIs have access to prioritized calling options to anyone you need to contact in an emergency, such as emergency services, power, telecom, as well as customers, vendors, or repair contractors.


The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provides end-to-end communications priority via three services: Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), Wireless Priority Service (WPS), and Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP).


Through Next Generation Networks Priority Services (NGN-PS), CISA’s priority services are evolving in line with commercial technologies.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set aside about 10% of all phone channels, dedicating them strictly for emergency services. This is to ensure critical infrastructure can communicate in times of crisis.


Additionally, DHS has a fast-track process for telecommunication line provisioning, or for repairs that provide services to critical infrastructure.


You can learn more at CISA's website here.



Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS)

GETS is a White House-directed emergency telephone service provided and managed by CISA. GETS provides subscribers with priority access and processing across all landline telephone networks.


Subscribers are issued a Personal Identification Number (PIN), which assigns priority status to calls in service provider networks. Physical GETS cards and usage guides are issued to all subscribers for easy reference.


Calls made with GETS overcome network congestion and degradation, and complete with a success rate of 98%. Importantly, GETS calls do not preempt calls in progress or deny the general public’s use of the telephone network.


GETS Benefits

  • Versatile: GETS can be used with the following devices:

    • Landline phones

    • Cellular phones (on all nationwide cellular networks)

    • Satellite phones

    • Fax

  • Hassle-free: GETS does not require additional hardware.

  • Free: There is no charge to GETS subscribers for enrollment or use.

  • Customer-focused: Comes with 24-hour User Assistance at 1-800-818-4387.

  • Resilient: GETS can be used with WPS to maximize call completion.


Easy Priority Calls for GETS

The PTS Dialer App automatically uses the GETS access numbers and the subscriber's PIN to streamline placing a call during times of emergency or network degradation.


To learn more, see the PTS Dialer App section below.


GETS Resources



Wireless Priority Service (WPS)

WPS is a White House-directed cellular communications service, provided and managed by CISA in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Second Report and Order, FCC 00-242.


WPS provides authorized devices with priority calling on all nationwide and several regional cellular networks.


WPS calls do not preempt calls in progress or deny the general public’s use of the telephone network. WPS carriers activate eligible devices which enables priority calling in the service providers’ networks when the ✻272 service code is dialed.


Calls made with WPS overcome network congestion and degradation, and complete with a success rate of 95%.


WPS Benefits

Interoperable: WPS connects calls across all major service carriers (and some regional carrier) networks.

  • Efficient: WPS is an add-on feature to subscribed mobile devices, therefore organizations can easily mass-subscribe select personnel via the Bulk Upload feature.

  • No Cost: There is no charge to WPS subscribers for enrollment or use.

  • Resilient: Can be used with GETS to maximize call completion.

  • Customer-Focused: Comes with 24-hour User Assistance at 1-800-818-4387.


Easy Priority Calls for WPS

When placing a call during times of emergency or network degradation, the PTS Dialer App will invoke WPS and GETS for those subscribing to both services.


WPS User Categories

The FCC assigns all WPS subscribers to a user category (one through five) based on their role in a disaster or its incident response.


In instances of extreme congestion or network degradation, service providers use these categories to prioritize WPS users.


All WPS subscriber’s calls receive priority over regular calls—thereby greatly increasing the odds the call will go through—and service providers only reference the aforementioned categories under extreme circumstances in an effort to allocate network resources.


The five categories are:

  1. Executive Personnel and Policy Makers

  2. Disaster Response/Military Command and Control Personnel

  3. Public Health, Safety and Law Enforcement Personnel

  4. Public Services/Utilities, Public Welfare, and Critical Infrastructure Protection Personnel

  5. Disaster Recovery Personnel


Wireless Carriers in Maine Who Cover WPS Services

  • AT&T Mobility

  • AT&T FirstNet Authority

  • T-Mobile/Sprint

  • Verizon Wireless

  • U.S. Cellular


If your carrier is not listed, we recommend contacting them. Just in case we missed them.


WPS Resources



PTS Dialer App for GETS and WPS

The CISA’s Priority Telecommunications Services app (called “PTS Dialer”) provides users a streamlined way of making priority calls. PTS Dialer provides easy access GETS and WPS priority calling.


Benefits

  • Easy to use in emergency conditions.

  • Significantly reduces user dialing errors.

  • Speeds up calling process.

  • Offers choice of call type: WPS, GETS, or WPS+GETS


Key Features

  • User interface optimized for one-hand operation.

  • GETS PIN is stored on the phone to increase security.

  • Recents menu provides a log of latest calls made within the app.

  • Frequent Calls menu displays numbers called most often using the app.

  • WPS/GETS Test Call option is conveniently located at the top of the Frequent Calls menu.


WPS subscribers should check their phone settings to ensure that LTE Voice (also known as HD Voice or Advanced Calling) is enabled, and if necessary, check with their carriers for availability.


For government or organization-issued phones, this may require your IT department or account rep to authorize the change.


Support

PTS Dialer supports iOS versions 13.0+ and Android versions 9.0+.


Installation Instructions

Note: Please contact your IT department if there are organizational restrictions on installing apps.


  1. Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for “PTS Dialer.”

  2. Download, install, and open the app.

  3. If you are a GETS user:

    1. Tap the menu (3 dots in the upper right) and choose Settings.

    2. Enter your GETS PIN in the field and tap outside the box to save.

    3. Make a test call when prompted to verify your GETS PIN.

  4. To verify your WPS service, place a WPS call using the app.

    1. If the call fails, please contact 24-hour User Assistance at 800-818-4387.


More information can be found in the PTS Dialer Document Suite line of reference materials:

  • User Manual - iOS

  • User Manual - Android

  • Factsheet

  • Getting Started Guide


Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP)

TSP is a Federal Communications Commission program managed by CISA, which mandates that service providers prioritize voice and data circuits, provisioning, and restoration requests made by organizations with national security and emergency preparedness missions.


TSP Provisioning

Organizations request provisioning priority when there is a need to install new voice and data circuits faster than usual.


This can be an immediate installation following an emergency, or an installation by a specific date (also known as an essential provisioning).


TSP Restoration

Organizations request restoration priority when existing critical voice and data circuits require priority restoration before non-TSP authorized circuits.


Restoration priority minimizes the duration of service interruptions, which would otherwise have an adverse effect on supported essential functions.


To receive priority treatment, organizations must request TSP restoration priority on circuits before a service outage occurs.


TSP Resources



Final Thoughts

CISA offers many helpful services designed to maintain critical infrastructure.


We recommend you include their GETS, WPS and TSP programs in your organization's

business continuity program.

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