EAS-CAP Shot-Clock Extension Sought

WASHINGTON: The National Association of Broadcasters along with several other organizations, have asked the FCC for an extension of the so-called CAP “shot-clock.” The clock is ticking down to a 180-day deadline when broadcasters have to implement Common Alerting Protocol formats. The buzzer currently is set to ring March 29, 2011.

On the end date, all EAS participants must have acquired, installed and tested the necessary CAP-compliant equipment. The Society of Broadcast Engineers, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting Service, the Association for Maximum Service Television and the Society of Broadcast Engineers are among numerous other petitioners.

The groups have asked for at least an extra six months to comply, bringing the new deadline to Sept. 30. They asked the commission also to consider a longer extension until the agency has completed its CAP-related equipment certification process, and has resolved its anticipated proceeding on modifications to the rules necessary to reflect CAP.

The groups wrote to the FCC: “The commission’s own record in its EAS proceedings well illustrates the difficulties posed by potentially requiring as many as 25,000 to 30,000 EAS participants to acquire from a limited number of suppliers new, sophisticated equipment that is subject to governmental certification. Furthermore, a substantial amount of regulatory uncertainty remains that prevents EAS participants from making the necessary, informed decisions regarding what equipment to acquire and install.”

Resolution of that uncertainty is within the control of Federal Emergency Management Administration and the commission, they added.-- from Radio World