The government is looking to implement a mobile alerting system to contact members of the public in emergencies such as the Manchester bombing or the London Bridge attack.
In a post on its website, The Cabinet Office has invited mobile operators to offer their solutions, ones that would enable the police to push emergency messages to members of the public. A key aspect of the proposal is the ability to restrict transmission to a fixed geographic area, the scope of which will be determined by the police.
According to the Cabinet Office proposal, the new system will allow emergency situations to be handled more efficiently, reducing panic. In its criteria, the government says that the system “is intended that citizens receiving the message will act in a way to reduce overall harm and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the response to the incident. We are conscious that the message will be potentially received on all customer phones. “
It is envisaged that the initial trials will be completed by early spring this year. The Cabinet Office expects there to be two stages. “Stage I: Insights gained from existing experience within the selected supplier. A face-to-face presentation of the initial insights will help to inform the next stage and decision as to whether to proceed. Stage 2: engagement, as appropriate, with the four MNOs and other appropriate suppliers of network equipment and services.”
The government had previously conducted trials for such a system back in 2013 but has had to return to the plans as it admitted that the “that the technical and commercial landscapes have undergone a lot of recent change.”