Canada Testing Emergency Alert System This Week

The CRTC, which regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications service providers that distribute emergency alerts to the public, set a target that 50 percent of new devices sold in Canada be wireless public alert compatible as of April 2018 and 100 percent as of April 2019.

Canadian provincial emergency management organizations will conduct public alerting tests across the country on Nov. 28. Test alerts should appear on every updated and compatible mobile device connected to an LTE (long-term evolution) wireless network in participating provinces and territories. The test alerts will be simultaneously distributed on radio and television.

To assist the various alerting stakeholders in ensuring that there are no outstanding issues with the system, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recently required wireless service providers to distribute all additional wireless test alerts that provincial emergency management organizations issue.

The alert messages will be identified as test alerts and will not require Canadians to take action. They will be sent out according to the following schedule:

  • All provinces and territories except Quebec: Nov. 28, 2018, 1:55 p.m.
  • Quebec: Nov. 28, 2018, 2:55 p.m.

Since the implementation in Canada of wireless public alerting in April 2018, close to 100 alerts and updates have been successfully delivered to warn Canadians of imminent threats. The CRTC, which regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications service providers that distribute emergency alerts to the public, set a target that 50 percent of new devices sold in Canada be wireless public alert compatible as of April 2018 and 100 percent as of April 2019.

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