WASHINGTON—A test reporting portal is being launched for participants in the Emergency Alert System. The Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice Tuesday announcing activation of the EAS Test Reporting System, or ETRS. The commission is also seeking feedback on the recommendations adopted by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council for the EAS Handbook.
FCC rules require all participants—which include most radio and TV stations, and some cable, satellite and wireline operators—to have the EAS handbook “located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty, and be immediately available to staff responsible for initiating actions associated with the EAS process.” The current version of that handbook is obsolete, according to the CSRIC. One goal was to try to make a single handbook for all types of media distributors versus the five versions previously published.
The EAS Test Reporting System was developed over the last year to coincide with ongoing trial runs of the new emergency alert system built on digital and internet protocol technology. Tests of various components of the system have been ongoing for years, with the most recent one covering several Western states. (See “Big Regional EAS Test Hits Its Mark.”)
Tuesday’s Public Notice said the ETRS was “operational and ready to accept filings,” however, the URL provided—https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-testreporting-system —led to a nonfunctioning web page. (Note: An FCC spokesman noted after publication the URL has been fixed.) According to the Public Notice, “EAS Participants must complete Form One of ETRS on or before Aug. 26, 2016. Under the Sixth Report and Order, EAS Participants have until Sept. 26, 2016, to update or correct any errors in their initial Form One filings. ETRS Forms Two and Three will become available on ETRS at the time of initiation of the nationwide test.”
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