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Cellphones to get Emergency Broadcast System

updated 05:10 pm EST, Wed November 17, 2010

Emergency Broadcast System coming to cell phones?

The Emergency Broadcast System that will alert TV viewers of any emergencies may soon arrive on cellphones, Alcatel-Lucent said on Tuesday. The company is developing a Broadcast Message Center that will let government agencies send mass information regarding local, state or national emergencies. These text messages can warn users of anything from road closures to hurricanes and tornadoes.

The Broadcast Message Center will help phone companies meet FCC rules for a Commercial Mobile Alert System. All phones would get such alerts, though users could opt out of receiving the less serious ones such as about weather, traffic accidents or Amber Alerts.

US agencies such as the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency would have access to Alcatel-Lucent's service.

Alcatel-Lucent envisions each cell provider needing to install two message exchange centers to ensure reliability. Initially, the messages will be sent out in text form, but they will eventually support multimedia formats as well.

The Broadcast Message Center has undergone testing in California and Florida, and is expected to roll out under FCC guidelines by April of 2012.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Big deal

    It would be of more consequence if the FCC pushed this as a full-blown requirement.

    Oh, and wonder how much extra verizon will charge to activate this service on your phone?

  1. MeandmyMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    -6

    GREAT! Does this mean we have to hear

    "this has been a test of the emergency broadcast system. Had this been an actual emergency... yada, yada...

    Does anyone remember on Sept. 11 2001, if the EBS went into effect in NY or Pentagon area? I know I never heard of anything and I seriously doubt anyone else did also, especially with wall to wall coverage from the networks and all the cable news channels.

    EBS our tax dollars put to good use for an antiquated system. Heck event he modern emergency radios had to rely on ham radio operators because of the logjam in radio signals from cell phone users and emergency workers on walkie talkies...

    Time to nix this government pig waste of a program. Relying on the government in a time of emergency... now that's lipstick on a pig!

  1. Marook

    Forum Regular

    Joined: May 1999

    0

    Ahhh...

    the GPS system has had this in place since it was launched way back in time!
    It's called Cell Broadcast, and actually have different categories you can subscribe to.. or emergency broadcast for all (on that cell).

    So thay are.. 15 years behind there??

  1. facebook_Blake

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010

    -4

    9/11

    Meandmymac -

    no they did NOT utilize "EBS" on 9/11. I had the exact same thought when clicking this link.
    I thought "if they didn't use it on 9/11 ,when the h*** would they ever?"

    of course, seeing as how 9/11 was an inside job i suppose that's a minor detail they forgot to make up a story for.

  1. facebook_Blake

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010

    -4

    facebook

    also.....
    i logged into facebook to post this comment, but macnn shows no 'logout' button.

    fail.

  1. Cronocide

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010

    -1

    Yeah!

    Now we can hear "Good evening, London. I thought it time we had a little talk. Are you sitting comfortably?" on our iPhones!

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +1

    Cool.

    Just make sure it doesn't require push notification to be on.

    - A

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: GREAT! Does this mean we have to hear

    Does anyone remember on Sept. 11 2001, if the EBS went into effect in NY or Pentagon area? I know I never heard of anything and I seriously doubt anyone else did also, especially with wall to wall coverage from the networks and all the cable news channels.

    Which is why something like this would be more useful. If the EBS went off in your area, the only ones who would know are those people who happen to be watching TV or listening to an over-the-air radio station at the time. In this day, that number is getting smaller and smaller. Meanwhile the number of people with a cell phone is extremely large, as is the number of people who keep their phones with them constantly.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Oh

    One other thing. The Emergency Broadcast system has been defunct for over a decade. This is probably the reason it wasn't activated on 9/11.

    A new system, the Emergency Alert System, took it's place, which covers a wider range of devices and broadcasts, as opposed to the old system which was basically at the local channel TV/radio level only.

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