As reported by the CBC (Canada Broadcasting Corporation) yesterday (click anywhere on this post to see their report) Canada’s new nation-wide emergency public alert system for mobile devices failed to reach Quebec residents and also experienced problems in Ontario. These tests were the launch of the new system that is to provide warnings of imminent safety concerns, such as tornadoes, floods, Amber Alerts or terror threats. Tests in the rest of the country are still scheduled for this coming Wednesday.
The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) stated that the problem occurred between emergency management in Quebec and Pelmorex Corp., the company that operates the system.
Depending on the settings, users with compatible devices were supposed to hear a tone similar to an ambulance alarm or feel a vibration for 8 seconds. While some mobile phone users reported having received an alert, others said their phone didn’t emit a sound or vibrate.
Pelmorex, is working to correct the problem as soon as possible. A representative of Quebec’s Public Security Ministry stated that it is unclear whether a test will be sent again once the problem is fixed, but that if a test is to be sent the public would be notified.
Unlike Canada’s Alert Ready system, iSIGN’s SAM system is a location-based system that requires potential recipients of safety messages to personally register for messages and involves the receipt of a security code and confirmation of the code’s receipt. This allows the location to know who has registered. Additionally, the location is responsible for all messaging being sent, thus ensuring messages are sent on a timely basis as there is no middleman involved in the process. Having control over all messaging allows the location the ability to test the system on a regular on-going basis.