A new emergency alert system for the cellphones will be implemented in New York City and Washington D.C., by the end of 2011.
On May 10, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined by Federal officials, Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, and representatatives from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, announced the plan to launch the PLAN (Personal Localized Alerting Network).
The goal is to make sure that in times of real crisis, real emergency, life-saving information can get to people where they are quickly, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Julius Genachowski said, according to the Washington Post. He said that PLAN is a major step in recognizing the accelerated usage of mobile devices, which is the fastest way of delivering information.
The most serious alerts, such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks, as well as Presidential and AMBER alerts for mission children, will be sent with no cost to the users of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Starting from NY and D.C., the PLAN will be made available across the nations by 2012, according to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This newly announced date of deployment is more than three months earlier than the date set by the federal government, April 2012.