During emergencies, the public telephone network can experience congestion due to increased call volumes and/or damage to network facilities, hindering the ability of first responders, national security, and emergency preparedness and response personnel to complete calls. The Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) provides these essential personnel priority access and prioritized processing in the local and long distance segments of the landline networks, greatly increasing the probability of call completion. GETS is intended to be used in an emergency or crisis situation when the network is congested and the probability of completing a normal call is reduced.
GETS is an easy-to-use calling card program; no special phones are required. There is no cost to enroll in GETS, though usage fees may apply. GETS calls will receive priority over normal calls; however, GETS calls do not preempt calls in progress or deny the general public’s use of the telephone network. GETS is in a constant state of readiness. It also provides priority calling to most cell phones on major carrier networks.
GETS is a White House-directed emergency telephone service provided by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).
OEC also provides the Wireless Priority Service (WPS), which provides NS/EP personnel priority calling over the cellular network using an add-on feature to their regular cellular phone. For information about WPS, please visit the WPS program page.