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FCC Seeks Comment on 2011 Nationwide EAS Test

September 23, 2013
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (the Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Public Notice [EB Docket No. 04-296] seeking comment on issues identified following the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on November 9, 2011. The EAS Test allowed the FCC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to initiate an Emergency Action Notification (EAN), simulating an “actual Presidential activation of the EAS.”

Although the test was regarded as successful, the Bureau identified and is asking for comments concerning problems which prevented EAS participants from either receiving or redistributing the alert. Specifically, the Bureau is seeking comment on whether header codes in an EAN alert need to specify a “time of release” or a location code, as Presidential alerts are meant to be both nationwide and in real-time. In addition, the nationwide test revealed that the visual text crawls accompanying the alert were often reported as unreadable due to either the speed of the crawl or the font. The Bureau is seeking input on how these issues should be addressed, how the FCC can work to ensure all crawls are accessible for people with disabilities, on the timing of the EAS test, and whether any specific technical factors need to be considered when determining the length of future EAS tests. Comments are due October 23, 2014 and Reply Comments are due November 7, 2013.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Public Notice [EB Docket No. 04-296]

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