National Communications System (NCS) Priority Telecommunications Services

The NCS offers a wide range of National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) communications services that support qualifying federal, state, local, and tribal government, industry, and non-governmental organization personnel in performing their NS/EP missions.  These services are designed to augment existing emergency communications capabilities.


Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) - GETS provides priority call treatment for both local and long distance calls during earthquakes, hurricanes and other emergencies when telephone networks become congested.  It is an emergency calling card service that can be used from virtually any telephone and is designed to be used when NS/EP personnel are unable to complete emergency calls through their regular telecommunications means. GETS cards should be provided to individuals and functions responsible for emergency response and coordination.  The only charge for GETS calls is for actual usage.  Calls are billed at 10¢ or 7.5¢ per minute (depending on carrier) for calls within the United States and its territories, Canada, and most of the Caribbean.  GETS is ordered on-line from the NCS. For more information go to: Government Emergency Telecommunications Service web site.


Wireless Priority Service (WPS) - WPS is an optional feature that can be added to regular cellular service to provide priority communications for key personnel during natural or man-made disasters or emergencies that cause congestion in wireless networks.  WPS addresses the problem of radio channel congestion that may occur in the vicinity of an emergency or disaster by providing priority radio access for WPS calls.   To make a WPS call, the user dials *272 and the destination number.  WPS is available from four carriers:  Cingular Wireless (and formerly AT&T Wireless), Edge Wireless, SouthernLINC, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Sprint PCS will begin offering WPS in 2007.  For more information go to: Wireless Priority Service web site.


Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) - TSP provides service vendors with a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate for prioritizing service requests by identifying those services critical to NS/EP.  A telecommunications service with a TSP assignment is assured of receiving full attention by the service vendor before a non-TSP service. TSP is arranged by first obtaining a TSP code from the NCS and then placing an order with your service provider or telephone company.  For more information go to: Telecommunications Service Priority.

For additional information:



National Security/Emergency Preparedness Priority Telecommunications Services presentation by Lee Johnson