Connect-CTY

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The City of Agoura Hills is please to announce the launch of the Connect-CTY service, our new City-to-Resident Notification System.  With this service, city leaders can send personal voicemail messages to residents within minutes with specific information about time-sensative or common-interest issues such as emergencies and local matters.  The Connect-CTY service will be used to supplement our exisitng current communication methods and augment public safety/first responser services.  The service is NOT intended to be replace or supercide the existing public safety services.  Should residents recieve specific instructions from public safety personnel prior to receiving a message from this system, the instructions and/or direction issued by public safety personnel should be followed.  More information about the Connect-CTY service can be found at www.blackboardconnectcty.com.    

Please accept our invitation to participate in this great service.  We know that your personal information is important, and you can rest assured that the City will not share this information with anyone.  If you have not already received a test phone call from us, have not signed up for the service, or would like to provide addtional contact information, click the Connect-CTY image below to sign up.

 C-CTY2


Connect-CTY®
Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Connect-CTY service?
The Connect-CTY service allows authorized civic leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to every telephone number stored in the notification database. With the Connect-CTY 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 notification database.

What types of messages will be sent using the service?
Any message regarding the safety or welfare of our community would be disseminated using the Connect-CTY service.

Examples would include severe weather warnings and updates, hazardous traffic or road conditions inside the city or affecting local routes, and any other situation that could impact the safety, property, or welfare of our citizens.

Does the Connect-CTY 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.

The call-in emergency information line (818) 597-7301 will still be available.  Also, the Agoura Hills TV channel (AHTV), and our city web site will continue to broadcast important announcements.

Is my telephone number included in the notification database?
It is our intention and hope that every residence in our community be included in the notification database. To provide contact information, please visit the City of Agoura Hills’ website at www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us.

May I use a cell phone as my notification database listing?
Yes, we can accept cell phones in the database and encourage you to request that your number be included.

What precautions are being taken to protect personal information?
Connect-CTY
® is a service of The NTI Group, Inc. (NTI). NTI 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. NTI only utilizes secure transmissions with its customers. No confidential information is ever transmitted between NTI 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. NTI 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 city using the system?
The caller-ID number for calls generated by the Connect-CTY service will be: (818) 597-7301. For non-priority messages, the following number will appear: (818) 597-7300.  There may be occasions where a different number will appear.  In addition, every message will begin with the same standard announcement: “Hello, this is ______ calling with an important message from the City of Agoura Hills.” The message content will follow this standard introduction.

Will the Connect-CTY 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 city’s telephone number to pass through. We may conduct periodic tests 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 outside of our city, you may provide additional phone numbers 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. Please contact our City Hall office at (818) 597-7300 or visit the City web site [website] to provide us with that 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 primary phone number.

My primary phone or my second listing is a cell phone with a non-local area code. Will the Connect-CTY service call numbers outside the area?
Yes. The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made.

How does the Connect-CTY system respond to busy signals or no-answer situations?
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 city notification calls at my fax or my secondary phone line. Can I switch to have the system call my primary phone number?
Yes. Please contact us at (818) 597-7300 to change the phone number in our notification database.

I was not able to listen to the entire call. Is there a way to repeat the message?
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 entire message?
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. 

                                            Frequently Asked Questions - about SMS/Text Messaging 
                                                                        OPT-IN/OUT PROCESS 

How do I opt-in to receive text messages from Agoura Hills? 
As a resident or business, you can opt-in by providing a text-enabled phone number via the self-service web portal above.

What happens after I sign up (opt-in) via the web portal to receive text messages? 
After you sign up online, Blackboard Connect’s Connect-CTY® service will automatically send a text message to your mobile phone to confirm your request.

What will the confirmation message say?
This will depend on who your carrier is. For all carriers other than T-Mobile the confirmation message will read the following:

Agoura Hills: You are now confirmed to receive alerts from us. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP aghills" to opt-out

For T-Mobile subscribers the following message is sent, instructing the subscriber to perform an action:

Agoura Hills: You have asked to receive SMS alerts from us. You must text reply "Y aghills" to confirm this request

After the T-Mobile subscriber sends the text reply, the system will send the following message:

Agoura Hills: You are now confirmed to receive alerts from us. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP aghills" to opt-out

What happens if I text reply “HELP”?
If you text reply HELP, you will receive the following message:

Bb Connect notifications. Users receive relevant alerts. For more info www.blackboardconnect.com/sms, sms@blackboard.com. To opt-out text STOP

From what number will these text messages originate?
All confirmation text messages and subsequent alerts will come from 23177. Please save this number and program it as City of Agoura Hills, so you can quickly recognize this number as the official source of City of Agoura Hills’s messages.

I did not receive a confirmation message. What happened?
Please check with your mobile phone provider to find out if your device accepts text messages. You may also want to check with your provider to see if text messaging has been enabled. You may need to subscribe to a text messaging plan in order to receive or reply to text messages.

I did not receive a confirmation message because my phone wasn’t text enabled. I have since contacted my mobile phone provider to enable it. Do I need another confirmation message sent?
No. If your SMS phone was already submitted to our database, you should be confirmed to receive SMS alerts. However, you can check if you are opted-in by texting the word “SUBSCRIBE” to 23177 and you will receive the following reply:

Agoura Hills: This phone number has already been opted in. More info text reply "HELP" or "STOP aghills " to opt-out

How do I opt-out?
You may opt-out at any time by texting “STOP aghills " or “QUIT aghills " to 23177.

For all carriers other than T-Mobile the confirmation message will read the following:

Agoura Hills: You are now confirmed to stop receiving messages from aghills. More info text reply "HELP" or go to www.blackboardconnect.com/sms

For T-Mobile subscribers the following message is sent, instructing the subscriber to perform an action:

Agoura Hills: You have asked to stop receiving txt alerts from us. You must text reply "Y aghills " to confirm this request

After the T-Mobile subscriber sends the text reply, the system will send the following message:

Agoura Hills: You are now confirmed to stop receiving messages from aghills. More info text reply "HELP" or go to www.blackboardconnect.com/sms

What if I opted-out but later decide I would like to opt-in again?
You may request to begin receiving text messages by texting “SUBSCRIBE aghills " to 23177.

If I change mobile phone providers but keep the same number, do I need to opt-in again?
No. Once your phone number has been opted-in, it stays registered within the system.


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