US Carriers and Government Consider Cell Broadcast
Dec 10, 2006, 5:27 PM by (staff)
Last month CellCast held a test of cellular broadcast systems with several state and local government representatives, as well as staff from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Cell Broadcast allows an operator or authorized agency to send out a text message to every phone on a cell, in an area or on the entire network at once. Instead of sending out an individual SMS to each phone, broadcast works by sending out a cell-wide signal that all phones receive at once. The government has recently become interested in the technology as one component of a broad new plan to update the Emergency Broadcast System, since one of the new requirements is a warning sent to cellular subscribers. The Federal government tested an unspecified cellular technology for disaster alerts in July, with the intention of having a nationwide system in place by the end of 2007. Although the FCC and other Federal agencies have been previously uninterested in cellular broadcast, it has gained traction as an possible standard among both local governments as well as carriers. Many local governments are already setting up opt-in messaging networks for residents in lieu of an official solution from carriers and the federal government.
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Wireless Users May Eventually Receive Government 'Blue Alerts'
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects.
House Panel Says Stingrays Need Federal Guidelines
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a bipartisan panel, this week recommended that the federal government pass rules to manage the use stingrays and other cell-site simulating devices. The panel said in a report that law enforcement agencies have varying and inconsistent rules for the use of such devices.
Neat Idea - Just Don't Overuse It
This isn't directly related, but Amber Alerts like that would be handy as well since it can alert people by the masses FAST which can hopefully get people on the road to notice a vehicle that may be suspect's. I know several carriers offer this now, but how many people subscribe it it, let alone know its available?
"This is just a test of the Emergency Broadcasting Network"
is it safe to assume