The National Association of Broadcasters, Florida
Association of Broadcasters and the
Dyle mobile DTV consortium will team with the Florida Division of Emergency
Management on a test during hurricane season, which starts June 1.
The pilot program was announced Friday at the Florida
International University, Wall of Wind Research Center.
According to NAB, stations in more than 140 cities are
delivering local TV to smartphones and tablets. There have been storm-related
issues with cell service, which
the FCC has been investigating given the increasing reliance on mobile
devices. But with TV tuners, those devices -- phones, tablets -- can still get
emergency info via local broadcast TV when cellular voice or broadband service
"The unfortunate reality is that during an emergency
weather situation, local broadcasters are often the only reliable source of
information," said NAB president Gordon Smith in a statement accompanying
the announcement. "It is common for cell phone networks to become
over-loaded, resulting in customer delays in receiving valuable, timely
information. Meanwhile, cable and Internet connections can be spotty. But
because of broadcasting's robust 'one-to-everyone' transmission architecture,
mobile TV is designed to deliver live and local news and information to mobile
devices reliably and without interruption."
Up to 100 devices will be supplied to the state's emergency
response team to use in case of emergency.
"Providing timely information is a key
element in our communication strategy, and we're grateful to Dyle mobile TV,
the NAB, the FAB for giving SERT a chance to test mobile TV's emergency
response capabilities," said Bryan Koon, director, Florida Division of
Emergency Management, according to NAB.