The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved a plan to create a
nationwide emergency alert system that delivers text messages to mobile phone
This voluntary program encourages wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon
Wireless to alert their subscribers of emergency situations via SMS messaging.
Local messages are targeted at the county level.
“The ability to deliver accurate and timely warnings and alerts through
cellphones and other mobile services is an important next step in our efforts to
help ensure that the American public has the information they need to take
action to protect themselves and their families prior to, and during, disasters
and other emergencies,” commented FCC Chairman, Kevin J. Martin, after the plan
was approved on Wednesday.
The new legislation, which consists mostly of technical standards, is based on
recommendations by an advisory committee made up of public safety officials and
telecom industry representatives.
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