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12.16.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FCC’s Media Security and Reliability Council adopts best practices recommendations

The FCC’s Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC) has made public 49 best practice recommendations it adopted late last month to improve the security of media outlets and ensure continuity of media service in a time of national emergency.

The MSRC adopted best practices addressing a number of areas, including national and local recommendations, radio, local television, cable television and direct broadcast satellite service. The recommendations encompass best practices to prevent loss of service as well as service restoration and the development of future technologies to provide emergency messages via a digital network.

Among the adopted best practices recommendations aimed at local television broadcasters are:

  • Having appropriate physical security, augmented by security personnel and/or video surveillance at studios, newsrooms, satellite communications facilities and antenna/transmitter sites;

  • Using diverse power grid sources wherever feasible;

  • Taking steps to have backup power capabilities for key facilities;

  • Stations originating local news should have robust and redundant ways to communicate with external news services and remote news teams, such as the use of mobile radio and Internet to augment cell phones, and some means to receive remote feeds;

  • Having access to backup signal feeds to primary and backup satellite transmit and receive sites;

  • Having redundant signal paths to primary and backup transmission facilities;

  • Stations originating local news should have emergency origination capability at a separate location from their primary studio;

  • Stations originating local news should have an ENG or SNG truck, or some means of delivering live news and information from a remote site;

  • Having the capability to receive a remote feed at a site other than the primary studio;

  • Having a backup satellite transmitter and receiver or an alternate means to send and receive signals from and to national news services in emergency situations;

  • Examining the possibility of using DTV facilities to provide emergency backup capabilities to analog facilities;

  • Providing the same prevention approaches to their DTV facilities;

  • With the cooperation of federal and local policy makers, collaborating with other stations in the local market to increase collective site diversity and redundancy.

To read the recommendations, please visit: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-241972A1.doc.

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