ISP starts storm service
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Nov 05, 2000
An Internet service provider is launching an Internet-based severe-weather
warning service for its customers this week, and the National Weather Service
hopes other companies will follow suit.
Front Range Internet Inc., an ISP based in Fort Collins, Colo., will
make its WeatherLink service available on its Web site. Customers can sign
up for the service, which will provide NWS severe-weather alerts delivered
to their computers while they are surfing the Internet. Customers will hear
an alarm and see a pop-up window that displays the warning message for a
particular location in Colorado that they choose.
The service could evolve to include locations across the country, and
other ISPs could use the nonproprietary software to provide the same service
to their customers, said William Ward, president of Front Range. The company
demonstrated a prototype of the system Nov. 1.
The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information
Administration challenged a group of Internet, wireless, broadcast and cable
executives at a July roundtable to come up with new ways to use technology
to help deliver warnings of severe weather and other natural disasters.
Front Range is the first to answer the call.
Gregory Rohde, assistant secretary of Commerce for communications and
information, said he is "issuing a challenge to other ISPs" to develop similar
services for their customers.
"We need to have ISPs come to the table, use the technology and become
part of the partnership. We want [other] industries to use these technologies
to enhance warning systems."