Skip to main content

ATSC Adopts M-EAS Standard

WASHINGTON -- The Mobile Emergency Alert System standard was approved by a vote of Advanced Television Systems Committee membership last night, according to ATSC President Mark Richer. “It will be published next week,” he said.

In an interview on Monday, ATSC member and Harris Corp. Vice President of Broadcast Technology Jay Adrick outlined the significance of the standard.

“M-EAS has been the big project for the past year,” Adrick said. “It is a significant application to mobile DTV that really doesn’t replace, but supplements, the delivery of emergency messaging to mobile devices. It’s based on the fact that broadcasters have a very robust infrastructure and that typically where there’s a major event, the wireless networks nearby go down, because they’re overloaded, or they go down because they’re fragile and require a lot of interconnect that usually gets disrupted by the natural disaster or whatever event may have just occurred.”

Adrick noted that during Hurricane Sandy, 25 percent of the cell sites went down in the New York City and New Jersey area, while only one television station went dark, and only for a short period of time. He added that during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami two years ago, the cellular networks were devastated while none of the broadcast stations went off the air.

M-EAS technology will be shown at the upcoming NAB convention and exhibition in the ATSC Tech Zone, the Mobile TV Pavilion and exhibitor booths.