12.12.2011 10:45 AM
FEMA to Begin Weekly EAS-CAP Tests

WASHINGTON: After the national EAS test, station engineers whose facilities have new EAS equipment have been wondering when they’ll be able to determine if their encoders/decoders can successfully communicate with FEMA’s web aggregator for the Common Alerting Protocol and receive next-gen EAS messages.

Some station engineers have begun telling their peers that their EAS encoders/decoders can successfully decode Required Weekly Tests of EAS messages from the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System’s Common Alerting Protocol Server, according messages posted this week to the SBE EAS listserv.

FEMA IPAWS Program Manager Al Kenyon posted a status update on the SBE EAS listserv indicating that FEMA has begun sending a series of RWT’s to states/territories in each time zone. “The intent is to allow users to confirm that their CAP/EAS device is properly configured to receive CAP alerts from IPAWS OPEN and to ignore CAP alerts not directed to their service area,” according to Kenyon.

In reply comments filed with the FCC on EAS, FEMA proposed originating an intensive schedule of CAP-based RWT messages that would also exercise the IPAWS OPEN EAS interface under varying loading conditions as more CAP/EAS devices come online. Following one test run of the CAP RWT origination software that issued a round of four CAP RWT messages per time zone on Monday (Dec. 5), the FEMA IPAWS staff read comments from several broadcasters posted on the SBE EAS listserv expressing their concern that four test messages per time zone on a daily basis were too much. FEMA therefore scaled its CAP RWT message exercise routine back to one per time zone, once a week.

On Monday, Dec. 12, CAP RWT messages will be sent at 11 a.m. in each of nine local time zones extending from Guam & CNMI (UTC +10, ‘Where America's Day Begins’) to American Samoa (UTC -11).

There will be one CAP RWT issued per time zone on a whole state basis during the local 11a.m. hour each Monday. (For purposes of these exercises states divided into two time zones are assigned to the time zone that includes the largest area within the state.)

— Leslie Stimson, Radio World

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