FCC Proposes to Update EAS Rules

Last week the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Emergency Alert Service. The Notice covers a number of EAS related issues, including proposed rules governing State Emergency Communications Committees and updating capabilities for radio and TV stations.  Specifically the FCC is proposing:

  • Combine the current “Presidential Alerts” category, which is non-optional on devices that receive Wireless Emergency Alerts, with alerts from the FEMA Administrator.  The new non-optional alert class would be called “National Alerts.”
  • Encourage all states to form State Emergency Communications Committees, which help administer alerting on the state level, or to review the composition and governance of existing committees, as well as require these committees to certify that they held a meeting in the past year.
  • Provide a checklist of information that should be included in annual submissions of State Emergency Alert System plans and amend the process for Commission review of those plans.
  • Specify that government agencies may report false emergency alerts to the FCC’s 24/7 Operations Center.
  • Require and ensure that Emergency Alert System participants can repeat certain alerts over television and radio when the government alert originator requests it.

Issuing this Notice demonstrates the FCC’s commitment and concern regarding the EAS system.  Accordingly, stations must make sure they are able to transmit EAS messages and participating in the required monthly tests.

To see the FCC’s EAS decision click HERE.

 

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