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County, XM Partner on Emergency Alerts; More Deals Seen

County, XM Partner on Emergency Alerts; More Deals Seen

XM is partnering with a populous county in northern Virginia on what organizers call a first: airing emergency warnings to the public on XM.
On the Arlington County alert Web site, XM is listed as one of several methods by which subscribers may receive alerts, also including cell phone text messages, wireless PDA or other hand-held digital device and e-mail.
In its announcement, the county government states the free system is solely for residents of Arlington County, which is just outside Washington.
“Arlington Alert System uses the Roam Secure Alert Network to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency,” it states. “This system delivers important emergency alerts, notifications and updates to you on all your devices and email accounts.”
Alerts will air on XM Channel 214, a nationwide channel that carries various public alerts.
The Roam Secure Alert Network will connect Arlington Alert to XM. The network manages emergency communication systems for government and businesses. A spokesman stated the deal paves the way for other Roam Secure customers in the Washington area to air emergency alert information over XM.
The deal dovetails with the XM’s involvement with an FCC advisory group that is working on improving broadcast communications and operations during emergencies.
NAB has said the satcaster is violating the intent of its commission authorization as a national service by trying to offer localized programming.