06.16.2010 02:00 PM
EAS-CAP Deadline Extension Sought
WASHINGTON: Give us more time.
That’s the gist of reply comments filed with the Federal Communications
Commission about its plan to change Part 11 EAS rules to accommodate the
introduction of the Common Alerting Protocol by FEMA. The commenters said
broadcasters will need more time to install updated EAS equipment. Reply
comments to Docket 04-296 were due to the FCC Monday.
Radio World reported that
broadcasters supported an extension of the 180 days for stations to install
CAP-compliant EAS gear. Broadcasters have also called for more--and
government-funded--EAS training for state and local emergency managers.
In reply comments this week, the National Association of Broadcasters said the “overwhelming
majority” of those who filed agree with the need for extension for several
reasons: “FEMA may not announce the final details of the CAP standards until
close to its publication of those standards in September 2010. Vendors will
need sufficient time to incorporate those details into their software products
before design of the products can be finalized.”
NAB added that EAS system architects will need time to adapt networks to enable
EAS equipment to accept CAP messages; transitioning to a new technical
architecture is a complicated process, it argued. New EAS encoders/decoders
must be tested before field deployment, and that testing period alone could
take 180 days, NAB wrote.
Manufacturer Monroe Electronics told the FCC, “The system will not work better
simply [because] we desire it to be implemented faster. Better to do this
systematically and correctly, allowing time for a smooth transition.” TFT and
Trilithic wrote that the 180-day timeline does not build in any time for
unexpected problems, such as delays in the delivery of equipment components to
Sage Alerting Systems, however, maintains that its equipment now on the market
can handle the CAP protocol and says there's no need to delay the deadline.
“Sage does not plan to build thousands of units, place them in the warehouse,
then sit back and hope for the best. Sage will maintain a reasonable inventory,
and build as orders arrive. There is no advantage to delaying the start of the
clock from our point of view--no manufacturer is going to stockpile large
quantities of product in advance of need.”
On another aspect of the EAS rules, NAB also supports allowing governors to
trigger EAS messages, though it would not extend that privilege to others at
the state level, to avoid confusing the public.--
from Radio World