FCC to Explore Emergency Alerting Over Streaming

(Image credit: FEMA)

WASHINGTON—The FCC could soon be looking into ways to deliver emergency alert messages over video streaming and other internet services. The commission is expected to discuss this possibility at its March Open Commission meeting.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a blog post, said that during the March meeting the FCC will vote to open an inquiry on the possibility of delivering EAS messages from other forms of communications and possible rulemaking changes to do so.

“We’re proposing updates to the way Americans receive emergency alerts wherever they are—on their phones, on television and on radio,” Rosenworcel said.

This exploration of alternative EAS delivery is related to the READI (Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement) Act, which was recently enacted into law. The law provides a handful of requirements to the FCC, among which is “to examine the feasibility of offering EAS alerts through the internet, including through audio and video streaming services.”

The READI Act also requires the FCC to encourage states to create their own State Emergency Communications Comittee and to work with these committees on their State Emergency Alerting plan.

The FCC is expected to release a full draft of the proposed rulemaking on Feb. 24.

The March Open Commission Meeting will take place virtually on March 17. For more information on the meeting, visit the FCC website (opens in new tab)