The FCC is extending the deadline to have the ability to receive Common Alerting Protocol-formatted Emergency Alert System messages until Sept. 30, 2011.
The new deadline applies to all EAS participants, including broadcasters, cable companies, satellite radio and TV operators, and wireline video service providers.
In 2007, the FCC required all EAS participants to have the capability to receive CAP-formatted EAS messages within 180 days of the Federal Emergency Management Agency adopting a CAP standard, which meant an original deadline of March 29, 2011.
However, due to public comments about the impracticability of the March deadline and a specific recommendation from the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) advisory committee, the commission decided to move the deadline to the end of September.
“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,” said retired Rear Admiral James Arden Barnett Jr., chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
According to the commission, a variety of factors cited by the CSRIC and public commenters, including the need for more time to develop, test and potentially certify the new equipment and the costs associated with purchasing the CAP-compliant equipments by EAS participants, led the agency to extend the deadline.