The Town of Barnstable is pleased to announce
the launch of the Blackboard
Connect service, our new town-to-resident notification system. With this
service, town leaders can send personalized voice messages to residents and
businesses within minutes with specific information about time-sensitive or
common-interest issues such as emergencies and local community matters. The
Connect service will be used to supplement our current communication plans
and augment public safety/first responder services.
Please accept our invitation to participate in this great service. We know
that your personal information is important, and rest assured that we will
not share it with anyone. If you have NOT already received a test phone call
from us, or you would like to provide additional contact information, click
the Blackboard Connect image to sign up.
Frequently Asked Questions about Blackboard Connect
What is the Blackboard
service allows authorized civic
leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to every
telephone number stored in the notification database. With the
service, authorized users can
send thousands of messages in minutes. Only authorized officials are
allowed access to the system.
How does the service work?
Authorized officials record a
voice message that is then delivered quickly to individual phones in the
of messages will be sent using the service?
Any message regarding the
safety or welfare of our community would be disseminated using the
Blackboard Connect service.
Examples would include severe
weather warnings and updates, hazardous traffic or road conditions inside
the town or affecting local routes, and any other situation that could
impact the safety, property, or welfare of our citizens.
Does the Blackboard
Connect service replace other systems that have been used to provide
time-sensitive information to residents?
This system is a significant
enhancement to existing means of communication and is supplemental to, not a
replacement for, the systems we have used in the past.
TV Government Channel, CH-18,
and our town web site will
continue to broadcast important announcements.
telephone number included in the notification database?
It is our intention and hope
that every residence and commercial facility in our community be included in
the notification database. For businesses, we only store one main
phone number. For residents, we may have more than one number that
belongs to you in the database. Additionally, you may request to have
additional numbers entered into our database for priority calling. Please
click the following link to add or edit contact information:
use a cell phone as my notification database listing?
Yes, we can accept cell
phones as secondary phone numbers in the database and encourage you to
request that your number be included. Please click the following link
to add or edit contact information:
What precautions are being taken to protect personal information?
is a service of
Blackboard Connect Inc.
(BCI). BCI takes security and privacy concerns very seriously and does not
sell, trade, lease or loan any data about our clients to any third party.
From a technical perspective, we utilize multiple physical and virtual
layers of firewalls to maintain data security. BCI only
utilizes secure transmissions with its customers. No confidential
information is ever transmitted between BCI and its customers using
e-mail or FTP, but rather always utilizes either a VPN tunnel or SSL.
Data is hosted in state-of-the-art facilities which require photo
identification, thumb-print recognition, keyed access, and are manned 24/7
with full-security personnel. All data is encrypted prior to being
placed on tape for offsite storage. BCI also retains an external,
independent security firm to perform annual security audits.
Will there be a way to positively identify incoming calls which are made by
the town using the system?
The caller-ID number for
calls generated by the Blackboard Connect
service will be: 508-778-3888. In addition, every
message will begin with the same standard announcement: “Hello,
this is the _______ calling with an important message from the Town of
Barnstable”. The message content will follow this standard
Will the Blackboard Connect service work if I have a call screening
system on my phone?
There are several varieties
of call screening devices which use differing protocols for screening.
In general, the system has been found to work with these devices; but, some
may require some type of pre-programming to allow our town’s telephone
number to pass through. We may conduct periodic test to assure that
messages are being delivered to numbers in the notification database..
If I am a non-resident home or condominium owner, what phone should be
listed in the notification database?
For non-residents or owners
who reside out of our town, you may provide an additional phone number to be
included in our database to contact during certain situations. In
general, calls are sent to the primary number only, but we also have the
ability to call multiple numbers for each resident or business when
requested by the resident or business. Please click the following link
to add or edit contact information:
If I have provided more than one phone number, when will they be called?
Should a situation arise that
requires us to contact you at multiple phone numbers, we can activate the
system to place a simultaneous call to all of your numbers. In most cases,
we will be sending calls only to one phone number.
My primary phone or my second listing is a cell phone with a non-local area
code. Will the Blackboard Connect service call numbers outside
Yes. The area code does
not impact whether or not a call is made.
How does the Blackboard Connect system respond to busy signals or
For busy signals, the call
will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. The same is
true for No-answer and Call-waiting. If the phone is answered by a
message recorder, the message will be left on the answering device.
If, after several attempts the call does not successfully go through, the
system will stop attempting to call.
I am receiving town notification calls at my fax or my secondary phone line.
Can I switch to have the system call my primary phone number?
Yes. Please click the
following link to add or edit contact information:
I was not able to listen to the entire call. Is there a way to repeat the
Yes, at the end of the
message playback, simply press the star (*) key on your telephone to have it
repeated in its entirety..
I answer the phone but the “Hello” message repeats. It then hangs up,
calls back, and the same thing happens again. How can I hear the
Repeating or looping of
messages happens when the system detects excessive noise in the background.
This can be caused by loud radio/television volumes, people talking, or busy
traffic noise. When you receive the next call, say “hello” once and
turn down the volume of your radio/television or press the mute button on
your telephone to allow full message delivery..