A new public warning system using mobile phone networks will be tested across the UK for the first time on Sunday afternoon (23 April).
The national alert will see people receive a message on the home screen of their smartphone at 3:00pm, along with a sound and vibration – even if the phone is set to silent – for up to 10 seconds.
It is being sent to 4G and 5G mobile phones.
All people need to do is swipe away the message or click 'OK' on the home screen, just like for a ‘low battery' warning or notification, and continue to use their device as normal.
The emergency alerts system uses cell tower technology to reach phones in a defined geographical area.
It in no way accesses or collects personal data.
Urgent messages would only ever come from the government and emergency services warning the public of life-threatening situations like flooding or wildfires.
It could also be used during terror incidents or civil defence emergencies if the UK was under attack.
A video of what the alerts will sound like can be viewed at www/gov.uk/alerts
The UK Government is supporting people with their household bills and working with providers to offer social tariffs to those struggling to afford broadband or mobile phone services.
These deals, which are offered to people on Universal Credit as well as other means tested benefits, start at just £10 per month and can represent a saving of around £180 a year for eligible households.
Social tariffs are available in 99 per cent of the UK and nearly five million households are eligible for support.
But take-up and awareness is not high enough.
Just 3.1 per cent (136,000 households) have signed up to date and only 30.1 per cent of households know these offers are available.
So I am using this column to spread the word locally.
To find out if you qualify, visit ofcom.org.Uk/cheap-broadband
It was great to meet up recently with Nigel Walker, CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union, Noel Mooney, CEO of the Football Association of Wales, and young grassroots footballers at Treharris Athletic Western Mini Junior FC.
The visit coincided with the launch of a joint bid by the UK and Ireland to host the UEFA European Championship in 2028, backed by UK Government funding.
If the bid is successful, Wales hopes to stage the first match of the tournament at Cradiff's 74,500-capacity Principality Stadium.
Turkey is also putting forward a bid, with UEFA due to make a decision on who will host the 2028 Euro finals in September.