National text-message emergency alert system moves forward


Many universities have adopted mass text message services to alert students of emergencies in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. Now the FCC has approved plans to create a national SMS (text-message) Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) to route urgent info to your cell phone.

The system will be used for three types of messages -- Presidential alerts, presumably of national crisis, imminent threat alerts of impending danger such as weather situations or terrorist attacks, and amber alerts about kidnapped/missing children. The system will use the services of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and NextTel and other carriers to serve the messages. Customers will be able to opt out of the system if they so choose.

The companies have ten months to implement the program. Sound and video messaging could be added to the mix in the near future, according to the FCC.

I just hope the politicians don't decide that fundraising messages qualify.

Thanks to Engadget Mobile