IT-alert tests on the territory continue: in Sicily on July 5
Over 280,000 questionnaires completed, thanks to which the works to implement the system are underway
Following Tuscany and Sardinia, on July 5, at around 12 PM, IT-alert, the public alert system that Italy is adopting, will be tested in Sicily.
A test message will arrive on mobile phones, switched on and with a working connection, of the people on the island or at sea close to the coast: everyone who receives it will not be required to do anything but fill out the questionnaire that will be available at www.it-alert.gov.it to report any malfunctioning and to help implement the system.
In this experimental phase of IT-alert, which started on Wednesday, June 28, with the first test and will continue in the next months and will involve all the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano and Trento, people are directly involved to know the new system, to test its functioning with respect to the different typologies of phones and operational systems, and to collect feedback from users to implement the service.
At present, after the tests in Tuscany on June 28 and Sardinia on June 30, about 280,000 questionnaires have been filled out.
The data collected, processed in anonymous form, are currently under elaboration; a preliminary analysis immediately after the tests has allowed the mobile operators to start checking some of the elements that emerged, such as the failure of the notification on some devices or the steady ringing on other devices.
Further investigation regarding overshooting, one of the acknowledged limitations of the cell-broadcast technology used for sending IT-alert messages, that is, the arrival of the notification on the devices located several kilometers outside the affected area, has also begun.
Cell-broadcast literally means "transmission through cells", is a technology that sends one-way messages with no possibility for phone operators to receive replies and know which phones have actually been reached. The sender of the information does not hold any data about the devices, including the phone number.
This service is based on the "encampment" of phones in the reception range of antennas being activated: upon sending the notification, all devices turned on and with a phone connection hooked up to the selected antennas will receive the message.
After the test in Sicily, the following two tests are scheduled in Calabria (July 7) and Emilia-Romagna (July 10).