Wireless Priority Service (WPS)
WPS is a Federal program that authorizes cellular communications service providers to prioritize calls over wireless networks. Participation in the WPS program is voluntary. Participating service providers typically deploy WPS in stages until service is available in most coverage areas and functionality has reached full operating capability.
Authorized users dial *272 on a WPS enabled device to receive calling queue priority. WPS calls do not preempt calls in progress, but provide priority status over cellular communications networks.
To get priority status over the wireline communications network, you need to use the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS). WPS and GETS can be used in combination.
The WPS program is in effect all the time--it is not contingent on a major disaster or attack taking place.
Who Should Enroll?
You should enroll if your organization is a Federal, state, local, and tribal police department, fire department, public safety answering point or 9-1-1 call center, EMS entity, essential healthcare provider or any other organization that uses telecommunication services necessary for the public health, safety, and maintenance of law and order.
Why Should I Sign Up?
If you rely on cellular communications services on a daily basis to perform critical national security and emergency preparedness functions, including those areas related to safety, maintenance of law and order, and public health, you need WPS. By dialing *272 on your WPS enabled device, your call receives a calling queue priority over regular calls, thereby greatly increasing the probability that your cellular call will get through the network, even with congestion.
This program can be extremely beneficial during a major disaster or attack in which the public telecommunications networks are congested by high call volumes and/or damage to the telecommunications infrastructure.
How Do I Enroll?
By filling out an application and providing a point of contact for your organization. In your application, you will need to certify that your mission meets national security and emergency preparedness requirements as set forth in the WPS program information. If your organization qualifies, the WPS Program Office will contact your cellular communications service provider and complete the process. WPS is an added feature to your phone; the software changes necessary are handled by the WPS Program Office. You do not need to do anything with your phone or take it to your cellular communications service provider.
What Does It Cost?
A one-time activation fee of $10, along with a monthly fee of $4.50, and charges of 75 cents per minute apply to WPS.
WPS Contacts & Support
National Communications System (NCS), Department of Homeland Security
Phone: 866-NCS-CALL (627-2255)
Phone (DC Metro Area): 703-760-2255
Phone (24/7): 703-235-5080
Fax (DC Metro Area): 703-848-0299