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More Than a Half-Million Texas Households Now Receive Urgent Alerts From Blackboard Connect
Apr 20, 2010 (07:04 PM EDT)

150 Municipalities Rely on Industry Leader to Keep Residents Safe and Informed

WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that 150 municipalities within the State of Texas utilize the Blackboard Connect™ mass notification platform to help keep residents safe, informed and connected.

Representing more than 600,000 households across the state of Texas, local government leaders have taken the lead in enhancing communication and preparedness by adopting the Blackboard Connect service to communicate quickly, accurately and consistently with their communities.

Statewide, Blackboard Connect has been leveraged by local officials to quickly notify residents and provide critical direction in a number of urgent situations. Last December, for example, an explosion at a chemical plant near the city of Seabrook saw nearby communities Galveston County, Kemah, LaPorte and League City send more than 30,000 voice, email and text messages to residents and businesses, guiding them to shelter in place immediately following the explosion.

"The performance of the Blackboard Connect platform was stellar," said Bill Kerber, city administrator for Kemah, Texas. "We used the system to rapidly instruct residents to shelter in place, and then to give them consistent updates until we could send the all clear. Because so many of the surrounding communities use the service, we were able to get the word out to a wide range of the affected area, keeping everyone safe until the danger had passed."  

The Galveston chemical explosion warranted the most widespread alert within the county since Hurricane Ike in 2008, when Blackboard Connect was a trusted tool for Gulf Coast communities who used the platform to deliver millions of messages on evacuation notices, status updates during the storm, and debris cleanup and FEMA resource notices in the months of recovery that followed.

Terry Lucas, emergency management director for the City of Alvin, Texas, notes that in an event like Ike, it's important to establish a trusted, familiar voice to maintain calm and keep the community safe. "Our residents came to rely on the Blackboard Connect messages we sent. They knew that every day, at least one time a day, I'd be communicating with them. I don't think anything can touch Blackboard Connect's technology for keeping your community safe and aware."

Beyond urgent communications, many Texas municipalities use the Blackboard Connect service to support a variety of proactive communications, from road closures and important town events to utility and pet registration reminders.

"We are proud to support communities across the state of Texas, who recognize the positive impact that reliable, timely and personalized communications with residents can have in both day to day and urgent situations, to help keep their communities safe and connected," said Ed Miller, President of Blackboard Connect.

For more information about Blackboard's mass notification solutions for government, visit

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-K filed on February 17, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of April 20, 2010. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to April 20 2010.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.