The commission is working to establish an automatic alert system to warn the public before disasters strike. Two short-term proposals have been delivered, both of which could be accomplished within three years.
The first would involve telecom operators providing a location-based service (LBS), which can disseminate disaster-prevention text messages in potential disaster zones using mobile devices.
Currently, Chunghwa Telecom is the only operator using an LBS. It used the service to alert residents of Keelung and Yilan County and motorists along the Suhua Highway after the US’ Pacific Tsunami Warning Center included Taiwan in the tsunami-warning areas following Japan’s massive March 11 earthquake.
The second proposal would ask terrestrial TV services to connect to the weather bureau’s system, Chen said. If an earthquake is detected, an earthquake alert would be shown on the screen.
According to the NCC, the possibility of developing the cell-broadcasting service is not high at present because the most current third-generation phones or smartphones are not equipped with such a function. However, mobile phone manufacturers said they would be able to adjust their assembly lines to incorporate such a feature if the government sets the new specifications.
The NCC will present its proposals to the National Disasters Prevention and Protection Commission, but the Executive Yuan will make the final decision.