Global Security Systems and the Alabama Broadcasters Association said five radio stations in that state are among the first there to deploy a local platform for Alert FM, a digital alert and messaging system.
GSS General Manager Jim Lowery said broadcaster support is “critical” to strengthening communications infrastructures of state and local governments and the private sector.
“Hurricane Katrina reminded us that total reliance on cell-, Web-, and satellite-based communication before, during and after a crisis results in an inadequate or nonexistent supply of critical information.”
Alert FM uses RDS technology to send digital information. Targeted alerts are delivered by satellite to FM towers and received on Alert FM receivers and other mobile devices, including PDAs, cell phones and other receivers equipped with FM chips.
The company says its use of the FM infrastructure provides overlapping coverage, ensuring distribution over a large footprint. It believes the system ultimately will be able to reach millions of households in the state with a single message in seconds.
Broadcasters that participate in the program will get the RDS technology at no cost, along with the added ability to transmit non-emergency information, including song titles and artists, call letters, slogans or other information.
Broadcasters in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are using Alert FM.
Click here to see RW’s June 20 profile of GSS and its plans.