FCC Extends CAP-EAS Deadline
WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has extended
the deadline for complying with new Emergency Alert System rules. The new
deadline for all EAS participants to implement Common Alerting Protocol
technology is Sept. 30, 2011. The previous deadline was March 29, 2011.
The move comes about a month after National Association of Broadcasters, the Society
of Broadcast Engineers and several affected groups had asked for an extension
in a joint petition. The extension was expected.
It was 2007 when the FCC first required all EAS participants to have the
capability to receive CAP-formatted EAS messages within 180 days of FEMA’s
adoption of a CAP standard. FEMA recently completed that process.
Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau,said,
“We are pleased to provide the extension to broadcasters and other EAS participants
to come into CAP-compliance. It is critical that we get this right from the
beginning and after weighing considerable public input calling for an
extension, we believe today’s action to do so provides broadcasters and other
EAS participants with greater flexibility to meet the technical requirements
for delivering next generation emergency alerts to the public.”
The FCC’s decision to provide an extension was based on public comment and a
specific recommendation by the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and
Interoperability Council, an advisory committee, calling for an extension of
the CAP-compliance deadline.
CSRIC and others cited multiple factors when calling for an extension,
including the need for more time for the development, testing and potential
certification of equipment and the costs associated with purchasing the
CAP-compliant equipment. The FCC said it took these factors into consideration
and extended the deadline to 360 days for EAS participants to come into
Commissioner Robert McDowell said the agency’s action “provides the necessary
flexibility for handling the pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts challenges associated
with this substantial undertaking.” -- from