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Alert System Is Fragile, Fragmented, Outdated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.