The FCC is expected to get real with a nationwide SMS-based alert system on Wednesday, revealing the details of a program that will likely be adopted by all four national carriers
in the US -- and very likely, we'd assume, most of the regionals as well. The program will be designed to send messages to in-the-know subscribers in the event of a natural disaster, attack, or child abduction, and naturally, folks will be able to opt out if they prefer the "ignorance is bliss" approach. The system is also apparently going to feature specific provisions requiring participating carriers to make sure disabled users can get the alert via special vibration or audible alerts, though it's not clear how those will differ from the vibrates and beeps the rest of the populace receives. If all goes well, carriers who opt to implement the system will have to have it running within 10 months, so we'll finally be able to get that "OMG TRNDO" text we've always wanted to receive.
[Via Phone Scoop