The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on proposed changes to its rules governing the emergency alert system (EAS).
On June 10, 2011, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—Review of the Emergency Alert System—in relation to a notice of proposed rule making concerning changes to the EAS.
In 2007, “as an initial step towards upgrading the EAS to incorporate the latest technologies and capabilities, and to facilitate integration of public alerting at the national, state, and local levels,” the FCC adopted a directive—known as the “Second Report and Order”—which directs the incorporation of certain “common alerting protocol” (CAP) procedures into the EAS rules.
The directive’s priorities include ensuring “the efficient, rapid, and secure transmission of EAS alerts in a variety of formats (including text, audio, and video) and via different means (broadcast, cable, satellite, and other networks),” the notice says. Therefore, the FCC “required that EAS participants be capable of receiving CAP-formatted alert messages no later than 180 days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publicly publishes its adoption of the CAP standard,” the notice says.
In addition, the FCC “required EAS Participants to adopt ‘Next Generation’ EAS delivery systems no later than 180 days after FEMA publicly releases standards for those systems,” the notice says. The FCC also “required EAS participants to transmit state and local EAS alerts that are originated by governors or their designees no later than 180 days after FEMA publishes its adoption of the CAP standard, provided that the state has a commission-approved state area EAS plan that provides for delivery of such alerts.”
To read the text of the notice go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-20/html/2011-15119.htm
For more information from the FCC, contact Lisa Fowlkes, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-7452, or by e- mail at Lisa.Fowlkes@fcc.gov.