As expected, the FCC today approved plans to roll out a nationwide SMS-based alert system, which is now all but certain to be adopted by all four national carries, and no doubt most regional carriers as well. As CNN reports, under the new plan, the FCC will appoint a federal agency tasked with creating the messages, which will in turn be passed on to participating carriers (which will have ten months to comply with the system once the agency is named). Those messages will be limited to one of three categories of emergencies, including disasters like a terrorist attack, ongoing threats like hurricanes or earthquakes, or child abductions or amber alerts. Also as we had heard before, individuals will be able to opt out of the system if they so desire, and carriers will be required to provide distinct vibration and audio alert options for people with disabilities.

[Thanks, Ron]

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