John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski


smsthreatlevel.jpgWell, it’s about time. With 48 billion text messages sent every month in the United States and one of every eight American households using only mobile phones for communications, it’s finally occurred to the federal government that a nationwide cellphone alert system might be a good idea.

And so yesterday the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to develop an emergency-alert system that would broadcast SMS messages to cellphones and other mobile devices wherever a crisis occurs. The Commercial Mobile Alert System, as it’s been dubbed, will deliver three different types of text alerts to mobile phone subscribers: presidential alerts concerning terrorist attacks and whatnot; imminent threat alerts warning of natural disasters; and Amber Alert child abduction warnings.

Sounds like a nice comprehensive program. Too bad you won’t see it for another two years, at least. Unless you happen to live in a region like Contra Costa County in Northern California, where a tech-savvy local government is already hard at work on its own geographically targeted emergency alert system.