Text-message alert systems may be ineffective in the event of large-scale emergencies, suggests a new report by Patrick G. Traynor, an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Through a series of experiments, Mr. Traynor concluded that modern cellular networks are incapable of meeting the 10-minute alert goal that has been established by the federal Emergency Alert System charter. Moreover, the high volume of traffic from a third-party alert system has the potential to block 911 calls and communication among emergency personnel, the report states.
Traynor, P. G. (2009). Characterizing the limitations of third-party EAS over cellular text messaging services. Atlanta, GA: Georgia Tech Information Security Center.