Emergency officials will soon be able to warn millions of Canadians of imminent threats such as fires or Amber Alerts by sending mass alerts to their mobile phones.
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it will require all wireless providers to join the National Public Alerting System on their LTE networks. Wireless providers have one year to implement the system that will reach more than 30 million wireless subscribers.
In a statement, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said:
“The National Public Alerting System is vital to Canadians, it has saved countless lives, including those of children through Amber Alerts. Once the system is in place, an even greater number of Canadians will receive alerts on their mobile phones and will be able to take appropriate safety measures.”
How are the wireless carriers going to pay to join such a service and get the alerts to customers? You guessed it! The consumers are ultimately going to be paying for this, with the CRTC acknowledging that the system would result in a nominal fee per customer. Wireless service subscribers will also not be able to opt out of the system, as the CRTC deems it vital for public safety.