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UPDATE: Second campus-wide test of VT Alerts complete; outdoor siren system to be re-tested Monday


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 14, 2007 – The second system-wide test of VT Alerts began at 1 p.m. today and concluded at 2 p.m. The university is currently reviewing the results of the test.

Messages were delivered to the more than 19,000 students, faculty, and staff who are VT Alerts subscribers in approximately 30 minutes.

All who are subscribed to VT Alerts are encouraged to complete an online survey. A Virginia Tech PID and password will be required to participate.

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BLACKSBURG, VA., November 13, 2007--Following the first university-wide test of VT Alerts on Oct. 10, Virginia Tech and 3n (National Notification Network), a mass notification system provider that supports VT Alerts, have made adjustments to this system to improve delivery of messages to the approximately 19,000 students, faculty, and staff who have signed up for the system.

Now that these adjustments are complete, the university will conduct another system-wide test of VT Alerts on Wednesday, Nov. 14. This test will focus only on the VT Alerts methods of text messaging, mobile phones, instant messaging, and alternative phone and e-mail, and not the university’s broadcast e-mail system. The specific time of day will not be announced.

In addition, Virginia Tech will conduct a separate, routine test on its outdoor siren system on Monday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

After the VT Alerts test is finished, students, faculty and staff will be asked to complete a brief survey following this test to again measure system performance.

Test results indicated that it took 18 minutes to send a message to the first listed contact path for the 18,266 individuals who subscribed to the service. The second and third attempts to deliver the test message to hose who selected multiple delivery options were completed within 31 minutes from the start of the test.

After the Oct. 10 test, approximately 1,000 people reported that they did not receive a test message, most of whom had selected SMS text-messaging as their first contact point. 3n has made adjustments to the VT Alert system’s SMS text-message delivery component in order to process text message delivery more effectively.

Several other reasons have been identified to explain why some individuals did not receive a test messages from the system during the first test. These include fluctuations in cell phone coverage; mistakes made when entering contact information; providing contact information for a parent or other person instead of for the recipient, phone numbers that were not in service or not operable, changed phones numbers that were not reported, or forgetting which device was registered.

All VT Alert subscribers are encouraged to check their account at the VT Alerts website before the second test is held.