Apr 13 2015

Blackboard Asks FCC to Clarify 'Emergency' Notification

What circumstances qualify as emergencies when schools notify parents in mobile text messages?

These are the issues the Federal Communications Commission hopes to clarify following a recent filing by Blackboard, a learning management system provider.

Blackboard Connect is a mass notification platform that allows schools to send emergency notifications and other alerts to their audience through their mobile devices. Schools can use the platform to reach "parents, guardians, students, and faculty regarding emergency weather closures, threat situations, event scheduling, or to provide other important education-related information," according to the FCC filing.

Sometimes these mass alerts are sent in error, and have resulted in litigation against Blackboard. The company is seeking a declaratory ruling from the FCC in the hopes that it will help them fend off the potential for lawsuits in the future.

In the meantime, the FCC is seeking input from the public on the question.