So, remember when wireless public alerts were supposed to save the day in the case of an emergency? Well, the tests themselves weren’t exactly perfect, as they failed in Quebec and were a mixed bag in Ontario yesterday.
On May 9th, the Alert Ready system will try to get it right for the remaining 10 provinces and territories, with specific local times below:
Yukon 1:30 PM (PST)
Northwest Territories 1:55 PM (MDT)
Alberta 1:55 PM (MDT)
British-Colombia 1:55 PM (PDT)
Saskatchewan 1:55 PM (CST)
Manitoba 1:55 PM (CDT)
Newfoundland & Labrador 1:55 PM (NDT)
Nova Scotia 1:55 PM (ADT)
Prince Edward Island 1:55 PM (ADT)
New-Brunswick 6:55 PM (ADT)
The CRTC updated the public on the Alert Ready system for wireless devices, saying “We are aware of the technical issues related to the public alerting testing planned today by #alertready in Quebec and in Ontario. These tests are conducted to ensure that the alerting system is functional.”
The Commission further clarified “The officials responsible for these tests at Emergency management organizations and at Pelmorex are looking into it and we are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Wireless alerts are being managed by Pelmorex, the parent company of The Weather Network. The Alert Ready website explained the reason for the failure in Quebec was related to “a space incorrectly included in the coding prevented the Alert Ready system from sending the Quebec test message to compatible wireless devices.”
As for the wireless alerts test in Ontario, Alert Ready said “We understand that some wireless users did not receive the test alert. All Alert Ready partners are working together to identify the cause. We thank everyone for their patience as we investigate and work through the test alert results.”
These are indeed tests, so it’s a good thing we’re trying to figure things out here, before the need to use them in a real emergency.
Get ready for a test tomorrow and let us know if you end up receiving a wireless alert on your smartphone, which will need to be wireless public alerting (WPA) compatible and also connected to an LTE network.