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more on Emergency text messages and AB 2231
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 21:25:12 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Craig Partridge <craig () aland bbn com>
Date: April 2, 2006 5:40:20 PM EDT
To: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
To: "(Mr) Lyn R Kennedy" <lrkn () earthlink net>
Cc: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] more on Emergency text messages and AB 2231

I'm not sure Lauren's analysis is right here.  There are several
intertwined issues, of which, one can identify at least two key ones:

    * How do we maximize limited cell phone capacity in an emergency?

    * What do people do if they get a text message?

To get some sense of comparison when looking at how the Internet behaved
on 9/11 (see the NRC report on "The Internet Under Crisis Conditions")
we looked briefly at the telephone network and the cellular networks and,
as best we could determine, we would have had much more effective
communications capacity if folks had sent text messages saying "I'm OK and
heading home" or similar things vs. trying to actually place a call.

What Lauren suggests is that, having received such a text message, recipients
are going to try to make a phone call back -- and saturate the cellular
system.   I don't know where that analysis comes from, but it highlights
that deciding what to recommend, in terms of response, is a tricky
evaluation of human behavior.

Craig Partridge
Chief Scientist, BBN
chair, "The Internet Under Crisis Conditions" NRC committee

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