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New York will send crisis text via CB

Sept 2007_Abstract NY Post:
In the aftermath of the Deutsche Bank fire and the Midtown steam-pipe explosion, city officials yesterday announced they will begin testing rapid-alert programs to rush text messages to New Yorkers’ cellphones. Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler told lawmakers at a City Council hearing that a pilot program using text messages as an early-alert system for communities will be ready to roll out within a few months.

“We expect to launch the pilot at the end of this year. At the same time, we are wary of it, because we know that the communications infrastructure isn’t as reliable as we would like,” he said of brief text messages that would be limited to 60 characters.

The Bloomberg administration has its eyes on what could be a more effective alert system that would use mobile-phone networks to send emergency messages to anyone carrying a phone within a specific swath of the city.

Called “cell broadcasting,” the alert system would require mobile-phone companies to make upgrades to their infrastructure – changes that City Hall is pushing for.
“It is not possible for us to use cell broadcasting today, because wireless carriers have resisted investing resources in this emerging technology,” Skyler said.

Abstract NYpost

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