Fire SMS alerts will reach only six in ten Victorians

Topic: Industry News

Only 58% of Victoria’s mobile users will be able to access targeted bushfire texts, as the new warning text message system will only work on the Telestra network. This will mean that one in four will miss out on the vital SMS warnings in the event of a fire.

The new fire alerts systems will be introduced in December, but not all Victorians will be able to benefit from it as it is restricted to those who have the Telestra network.The systems will reach and send SMS messages based on people’s mobile locations, instead of their billing address. “The towers will be able to identify where you are and send a message to your phone,” said the Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsley.As Lapsley pointed out, however, networks such as Optus and Vodafone still do not have the required software to support this specific system.Although Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner said that they are working to find a solution to this problem and include more carriers on the system, more than 40% of Victorians won’t be able to benefit from the SMS alerts in the meantime. “Negotiations are continuing… the office of the Emergency Services Commissioner is pursuing that,” said Lapsley.

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Ed Ryan