02.08.2011 10:00 AM
FEMA: List of CAP-Compliant Gear Expected in March
WASHINGTON: Several experts say broadcasters will continue
to be the backbone in a new Emergency Alert System. That’s one bit of news out
of a recent webinar on broadcasting’s transition to the Common Alerting
Protocol for next-generation EAS, which
will encompass wireless and broadband platforms.
Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters was
among those asserting the continued importance of broadcasting to the system.
Jamie Barnett, chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety
& Homeland Security Bureau, said the FCC is now “involved in the lessons
learned” from last week’s test of a national presidential message, aired in
Alaska. A draft of the Part 11 changes necessary for CAP is being reviewed.
Damon Penn, assistant administrator of the National Continuity Programs
Directorate for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said certification for
CAP-compliant equipment “is in full swing.” He anticipates a list of compliant
equipment will be finalized and posted in March.
Penn said the White House will decide when the nationwide EAS test will be
conducted; it’s anticipated this fall. The FCC has adopted rules to facilitate
the government’s efforts to conduct the national EAS test.
The webinars are part of an outreach campaign by NAB and the National Alliance
of State Broadcasters Associations. Other such events are planned that
will discuss the national EAS test and funding sources for CAP-compliant gear.
The next one is Thursday March 10 and explores the commission’s Part 11
rulemaking proceeding. --