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OfReg addresses emergency alert concerns

 

Experts in Cayman say they understand the need to be able to message residents directly in case of an emergency.

“We’re suggesting that multiple channels be used to communicate with as many people as we possibly can so text messaging is one of those channels,” said Utility Regulation and Competition Office’s Alee Fa’amoe.

He said his office is working with Hazard Management Cayman Islands and other players to try and make mobile phone emergency notifications a reality.

“What our office is going to do is document all of those concepts that we had put together and recommended to HMCI and put out a discussion paper so that then the general public can then provide feedback input thoughts on the suggestions that we’ve made and we can work with HMCI and other entities to fine tune how we approach things going forward,” said Mr. Fa’amoe.

HMCI Deputy Director Lee Madison said implementing a mobile phone notification system would cost between $1- $2 million and he said that cash would need to be split between Government and the private companies involved. He added it would go toward allowing this equipment to be used rather than any actual equipment.

The providers have to put licenses on all their communications sites from the company that would be selected to do it they will also be licenses from the equipment supplied to switch the facility on.

For their respective parts the telecoms providers said they are on board but stopped short of saying there is a sure way forward in making this a reality.

Digicel CEO Raul Nicholson COE in statement said; “From a technology standpoint the implementation of alert systems is easy to achieve. We are currently working with the regulator to help them to agree to an implementation process.”

A Flow spokesperson said, “Cable and Wireless welcomes the opportunity to provide assistance to the government in reviewing and identifying the appropriate solution as a nationwide emergency alert system such as this would become part of the national infrastructure.”

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