CRTC Says Emergency Public Text Alerts Coming Soon, Pilot Testing in 2016

The CRTC this morning has “congratulated” the Canadian wireless industry for its support in developing the infrastructure to send out emergency wireless text alerts, which can be delivered to the over 28 million cellphone users in Canada.

A public pilot project is planned for 2016, while in the next few months the wireless industry and emergency responders will test the new technology, which will utilize the national public alerting system and LTE wireless networks, with specifications developed by the Network Working Group under the CRTC’s Interconnection Steering Committee.

Emergency alerts are typically issued by fire marshals, police and public health personnel in the event of an emergency. The goal is to add Canada’s 28 million wireless (with compatible devices) users to the existing radio and TV broadcasting system to receive emergency alerts in English and French.

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, said in a statement “The experience in other jurisdictions has shown that mobile alerts are an efficient way to alert citizens in an emergency situation and even save lives.” With everyone always carrying their cellphones no matter where they go, Blais followed up to say Canadians “should have access to life-saving information as soon as it is available.”

Facebook recently launched AMBER Alerts for Canada, while wireless carriers in Canada have setup wireless text message AMBER Alerts too, since 2010.