NEW Country-Wide Test of Alert-Ready Cell System This Afternoon

Arturo Kim
May 10, 2018

Wireless alerts will be tested for the first time in 2:55 p.m. (Mountain) today May 9, as part of a federal-provincial government initiative to improve public safety in the event of emergency.

To receive the alerts, mobile phones had to be connected to a cellular network, be within the alert area and be compatible.

The whole point of testing the system is to make sure all of its components work before an actual emergency, Alert Ready said Tuesday in a statement.

But according to CRTC, today's tests will still take place as per the original schedule.

The province plans to rollout the system to include other emergency situations like fires, flooding, earthquakes, chemical spills, terrorist threats, amber alerts, among others, but a timeline is unclear.

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British Columbia 1:55 p.m. "Please refrain from calling 911 to seek additional information, as any additional information will be provided through other media sources, such as press releases, radio and television announcements".

On Monday, no alerts were registered on devices in Quebec, while only some mobile subscribers in Ontario received the signal.

The emergency alerts are not text - or SMS - messages, but are distributed using what's known as cell broadcast technology.

A device set to silent mode will display an emergency alert, but no tone will accompany it - usually.

The reason behind the alert being sent only to some phones in Ontario is still undetermined. This new system will send the warning directly to compatible cellphones, while also broadcasting on TV and radio stations. In Quebec, a space incorrectly included in the coding prevented the Alert Ready system from sending the test message to compatible wireless devices.

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