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Penn State to conduct test of PSUTXT system

PSUTXT
3/25/2008 —
Just as the Emergency Broadcast System periodically runs tests on radio and television stations, Penn State plans to test the PSUTXT text-messaging system to help ensure its functionality in a true emergency.

"Testing of the system also raises awareness of the system, increases the confidence of responders and provides insight into the weaknesses and strengths of a plan. Testing will help to proactively identify and resolve any issues," said Annemarie Mountz, assistant director of Public Information.

At 1:30 p.m. on March 31, PSUTXT administrators from each campus will log into the system and send a message that will clearly be marked as a test. "Having 26 people log into the system at once to send messages to each of the alert categories will test the company's server, to make sure it can handle that sort of demand," Mountz said. She said that e2Campus, the company that hosts the PSUTXT service for Penn State, is aware of the upcoming test.

Penn State's PSUTXT was launched in August 2006 and currently has more than 38,000 valid subscribers. However, not everyone who thinks they're subscribed actually is.

"There are a number of subscriptions in the system that remain unvalidated," said Mountz. "These people have not yet successfully completed the validation process, so they are not set up to receive PSUTXT messages although they may think they are. This test also will help to make those people aware that their PSUTXT accounts are not active and they need to complete their subscription validations."

Validating the cell phone at the time of opt-in verifies that users have an active text messaging service on their accounts; ensures that only the person who owns the mobile phone is signing up for the service; and ensures that the user correctly keyed in their phone number.

Those who receive the test message on March 31 do not need to take any action. Anyone who initiated a subscription to PSUTXT but does not receive the test message on March 31 should log into the PSUTXT system by going to http://newswires.psu.edu/ and clicking on the "PSUTXT LOGIN" button at the bottom of the page.

"Once logged in, they should update their cell phone information, and then click on 'Services' to have a new validation code sent," said Ara Bagdasarian, president of e2Campus. "Once they receive the validation code, they need to enter it on the registration page on the Web site to complete the process and validate their accounts."

Subscribers who continue to have difficulty validating their account should visit http://omnilertsupport.com/e2campus/ online.

Anyone who has not yet subscribed to PSUTXT should go to http://newswires.psu.edu/ and click on the "PSUTXT REGISTER" button at the bottom of the page to sign up. For more information, e-mail mailto:AMountz@psu.edu

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