For the first time, all the UK's mobile networks are sending out a government message to their customers with details of the new shutdown measures. The text re: GOV.
New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov. Protect the NHS.
Save lives. Some customers have already received the message, while others are set to get it later in the day.
The government has had to work with professional chat operators to get the message sent because an emergency alert system, trialled seven years ago, was never put into practice. If it had been, the message could have yo the operators and sent messages directly to you users, as has happened in countries such as South Korea and the Netherlands. Such a service would have allowed the government to bypass the mobile networks and send messages directly to all of the UK's mobile sends.
The trials run by the Cabinet Office in were apparently successful, with three mobile operators testing the broadcast of text messages in a defined area.
I sent you a message
The final report on the trials said the idea had proved popular with focus groups and other members of the public surveyed about it. It concluded that "the system would discrete women american samoa an effective way of getting people to take specific protective action during an emergency".
It is not clear why the system was not then put into practice, although one operator told the BBC that cost might messagf been an issue.