Aug. 11 Is The Next National EAS Test

Aug. 11 will be the date of the first national EAS test since before the pandemic began. Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency officially informed the FCC on May 4, that it plans its sixth national EAS test on that day. They also plan to conduct a nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test concurrently.

Digital Alert Systems’ Version 4.3 EAS Software Available For Download

Digital Alert Systems, a global provider of emergency communications solutions for media providers, today announced the availability of Version 4.3 of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) software running on the company’s award-winning DASDEC-II or One-Net SE EAS devices. The company says Version 4.3 is a major release that “further expands the security measures already built […]

FCC To Consider EAS Changes

At its March 17 monthly Open Meeting, the FCC will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to modify certain aspects of the Emergency Alert System used by many of those regulated by the FCC including broadcasters, cable companies and wireless communications devices such as mobile phones.  The FCC is reviewing these issues as required by the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by Congress at the end of 2020.

STATION ADVISORY

FEMA Cancels 2020 National EAS Test

The Federal Emergency Management Association says it will not conduct a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) via the broadcast Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert system this year.

Digital Alert Systems Offering V4 Price Relief Program

Digital Alert Systems, a global provider in emergency communications solutions for media providers, has introduced a new price relief program for its family of Emergency Alert System (EAS) devices. To help ensure that critical emergency communications are as robust and reliable as possible during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Digital Alert Systems has reduced the price […]

FCC Continues Fines For Improper Use Of EAS Signals

What To Do If Your EAS IPAWS Tests Aren’t Working

Weigel Relies On Cobalt Digital For EAS Insertion, CALM Compliance

Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting Co., which owns and operates stations in nine markets in addition to MeTV and other digital multicast networks, is using Cobalt Digital’s software-defined 9922-FS-DSP platform for openGear frames to provide microservices for Emergency Alert System local insertion and CALM compliance for its terrestrial stations. Most recently, the company purchased five cards in March for KTLN, […]

NEWS ANALYSIS

EAS Fine Against CBS Raises 1st Amend. Debate

False EAS alerts have typically popped up in commercials as a way of getting jaded viewers’ and listeners’ attention, which makes them challenging to successfully defend. But what happens when the use of the alert tone is not in an ad, like in the case of its inclusion by CBS in an episode of Young Sheldon? The FCC is effectively claiming that CBS falsely yelled “fire” in a crowded theater, which is the well-established exception to First Amendment protections.  CBS, on the other hand, is countering that it only yelled “boogeyman,” and that any reasonable viewer isn’t going to panic, because the public knows the difference between real and fictional things.

STATION ADVISORY

FCC Reminds Stations Of Sept. 23 EAS Deadline

The FCC is reminding all broadcasters and other EAS participants of the obligation to file their ETRS Form Three report by Sept. 23. That form provides details about a station’s participation in the Aug. 7 Nationwide EAS Test, including from where the station received the EAS alert (assuming that it did receive the alert) and any complications or issues that may have arisen in connection with the test.

FCC To Fine CBS $272,000 For EAS Tone In Show

The commission says the fine for an episode of Young Sheldon reinforces its rule that Emergency Alert System tones must only be used for real emergencies and authorized testing.

STATION ADVISORY

EAS National Test Scheduled For Aug. 7

Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 2:20 p.m. ET.  For most participants, this year’s test will be disseminated only using the broadcast “daisy chain,” rather than through the internet-based Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

FCC, FEMA To Test EAS On Aug. 7

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2019—FEMA, in coordination with the FCC, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wed., Aug. 7, 2019. The nationwide test will be sent to radio and television stations beginning at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test is being conducted through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. This year, the test message […]

STATION ADVISORY

FCC Highlights State EAS Plans

The FCC earlier last week posted on its blog an article from the chief of its Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau about state EAS plans, stressing how important these plans are to making sure that any emergency message conveyed through an EAS alert is properly transmitted to all who are supposed to receive it, so that it ultimately reaches the members of the public who should be aware of the emergency situation which triggered the alert.  The article contains a link to all of the state EAS plans that have been submitted to and approved by the FCC. Is your station doing what it’s supposed to be doing?

STATION ADVISORY

Next National EAS Test Is Aug. 7, Has A Twist

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has scheduled the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System for Aug. 7 at 2:20 p.m. FEMA says this year’s test will differ from the nationwide tests that have been conducted over the past several years in that it will be issued through the National Public Warning System, composed of FEMA-designated Primary Entry Point facilities, to test the readiness of the EAS to function in the absence of internet connectivity.

Best Practices For Broadcaster Security

Lisa M. Fowlkes, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, says broadcasters play a vital role during emergencies and the public relies on them to stay informed, find resources and stay safe. “To continue fulfilling this important mission, broadcasters must ensure that their systems are secure and reliable. Here are some best practices to help.”

DMA 3: CHICAGO

False Alarm Could Land WBBM In Trouble

STATION ADVISORY

National EAS, WEA Test Postponed

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the FCC, announced Monday morning that the National Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts tests scheduled for this Thursday, Sept. 20, have been postponed due to “ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.”

STATION ADVISORY

Broadcasters Need To Prep For EAS Test

The FCC and FEMA have established Sept. 20 as the date for the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.  The nationwide test is designed to study the effectiveness of the EAS and to monitor the performance of EAS participants.  The Wireless Emergency Alert system will be tested immediately prior to the test of the EAS.  While the test itself is a month away, all EAS participants must file their Form One with the FCC by Aug. 27 in preparation for the test.

STATION ADVISORY

EAS, WEA National Tests Scheduled For Sept. 20

STATION ADVISORY

ETRS Form One Due Aug. 27 For EAS Participants

Court Denies Rehearing On Multilingual EAS

Public interest group MMTC had petitioned the US Court of Appeals for a rehearing on its decision upholding the FCC decision deciding not to impose any multilingual EAS obligations on broadcasters. The full Court of Appeals has just issued a one sentence order denying that reconsideration request. While, theoretically, MMTC’s next appeal would be to the Supreme Court, lacking an issue of major significance or constitutional importance, that is unlikely.

COMMENTARY BY JOHN LAWSON

Alert System Is Fragile, Fragmented, Outdated

The false alert of a nuclear attack on Hawaii is an inexcusable, but hardly isolated example of the fragility and fragmentation of America’s emergency alerting system. As natural and manmade threats persist and increase, it is clear that our alerting system is not up to the task of serving the mobile and connected America of the 21st Century.

Bogus Missile Alert Weakens EAS Confidence

Saturday’s false missile alert in Hawaii is fueling doubts about the Emergency Alert System’s ability to keep Americans informed in an actual emergency.

FCC Adds Blue Alerts To EAS

Blue Alerts are designed to protect law enforcement officers and communities.

 

STATION ADVISORY

Court Rejects Appeal Of Multilingual EAS

The U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday issued an order that denied the appeal of an FCC order that rejected a requirement that multilingual EAS alerts be provided in every market.

Lawson To Join ATSC 3.0 Panel At TV2020

John Lawson, executive director of the AWARN Alliance, will inform attendees at next week’s TV2020: Monetizing the Future conference of the progress toward implementing an advanced emergency alerting system as part of the coming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.

STATION ADVISORY

Today’s The Day: EAS Test, Form 2 Deadline

Earlier this week, the FCC and FEMA released a final reminder that this year’s nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur today, Sept. 27, at 2:20 p.m. ET. The test will be transmitted in both English and Spanish and broadcasters will choose which one to air in their communities. Stations unaffected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria must file a Form 2, the day-of-test reporting form, via the FCC’s Emergency Test Reporting System by 11:59 p.m. ET tonight.

Reminder: EAS National Test Set for Wed.

Assuming that it is not delayed due to a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are still scheduled to conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System on Sept. 27 at 2:20 p.m. ET.

STATION ADVISORY

Problems With FCC EAS Filing Deadline

The FCC and FEMA set Sept. 27 as the date for the next nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. Like last year’s test, all EAS participants must file Form 1 a month before the test. The Form 1 has been modified, however, requiring information that was not requested previously. In addition, the FCC’s Emergency Test Reporting System has been revamped so that prior log in codes do not work and the system’s functionality is now unfamiliar to prior users. As a result, while the Form 1 is technically due next Monday, Aug. 28, anyone who has not yet started the filing process should begin immediately and aim to finish the process this week.

Prepare For Sept. Nationwide EAS Test

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has notified the FCC that it will be conducting the next nationwide test of the EAS system on Sept. 27 (with a back-up date of Oct. 4 — in the event potential real emergencies make the earlier date one that could cause confusion). The FCC has updated its reporting system for stations to provide information about the success of the test, and should be better able to track station’s participation in the test. Thus, to make sure that you can report a successful test, this is a good time for stations to insure that they are monitoring the correct EAS sources as required by their state EAS plan, that they have their online EAS CAPS alert systems functional, and that they are properly receiving, conducting and logging their weekly and monthly tests.

FCC Proposes To Add Blue Alerts To EAS

The new alert option is designed to protect law enforcement officers and communities.

DMA 47: JACKSONVILLE, FL

FCC Fines Tegna $55,000 Over EAS Tones

A WTLV Jacksonville, Fla., promotion for the Jacksonville Jaguars included EAS tones permitted only for emergencies and system tests.

PLAYOUT

Monroe Electronics Updates EAS, CAP Software

Pai Proposes To Add Blue Alerts To EAS

The FCC chairman’s proposal aims to protect law enforcement officers and communities.

STATION ADVISORY

FCC IDs EAS Improvements, Opportunities

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released its initial findings from the 2016 nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, which reflect improvements from the 2011 test but identifies further opportunities to strengthen the EAS.

FCC: EAS challenges Unfeasible, Burdensome

The FCC is asking a federal appeals court to toss out a challenge to its Emergency Alert System regulations. The FCC says proposals that it create a “designated hitter” program are “technically and practically unfeasible.” It also argues that it would be burdensome on EAS participants.

Despite NAB Objections, FCC Slots EAS Vote

At the FCC monthly meeting in December, Chairman Tom Wheeler plans to consider new Emergency Alert System rules. The commission says the update will help protect EAS against hackers and accidental misuse. The NAB participated in a conference call with several officials of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau earlier this month to discuss impending changes to EAS, several of which the trade group isn’t pleased with.

STATION ADVISORY

New EAS Foreign-Language Rule In Effect

National EAS Test Deemed A Success

The first national test of the emergency alert system in five years — and the first ever using the IPAWS infrastructure as an overlay on EAS — has been deemed a success based on initial feedback from the field.