FCC Denies EAS CAP Gear Waivers

WASHINGTON — The feds said no to a collection of radio stations and TV providers who sought to put off installing the equipment necessary to decode XML-based Emergency Alert System messages. The final deadline for installing EAS gear capable of processing alerts in the Common Alerting Protocol format was June 30, 2012. The petitioners cited vendor delay as the reason they couldn’t make the deadline, which had been extended from Sept. 30, 2011.

“The waiver applicant faces a high hurdle and must plead with particularly the facts and circumstances that warrant a waiver,” the commission’s Order stated. “We find that the petitioners have failed the first prong of the commission’s waiver analysis. Vendor delay alone does not ordinarily constitute the ‘special circumstances’ that would justify a waiver.”

Petitioners “chose to wait until very close to the deadline to order equipment, and thus any delay in receiving equipment was entirely attributable to each company’s business decisions,” the Order said.

Petitioners covered by the Order included Southern Communications Volunteers of Cordova, Tenn., licensee of WEVL-FM; Applegate Media, owner of KAPL-AM in Phoenix, Ore.; NewWave Communications, a TV and broadband provider based in Sikeston, Miss.; Lakeview Cable of Cache, Okla.; and Reach Broadband, a TV and ISP out of Arp, Texas, all asked for waivers of the June 30, 2012 deadline.

The Order did not indicate why it was issued more than a year after the waiver petitions were submitted.