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FCC to Vote on Local EAS Rules

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission will consider “a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to enhance the Emergency Alert System as a tool for community emergency preparedness,” at its monthly open meeting scheduled for Dec. 15. The R&O is said to improve “alerting organization at the state and local levels, [build] stronger community-based alerting exercise programs, and [protect] the EAS against accidental misuse and malicious intrusion.”

A Further Notice will seek feedback on proposals to “leverage technological advances to improve alerting and additional measures to preserve EAS security,” the commission’s meeting announcement stated.

In an accompanying statement, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said,“ we will have new rules to improve the Emergency Alert System as a tool for emergency preparedness. The EAS is our national public warning system, which broadcasters, cable and satellite companies use to keep us informed in times of crisis. Our new rules would strengthen EAS by promoting greater participation by partners on the state and local levels, improved testing, and enhanced EAS security. The item would also seek comment on how best to leverage technological advances to strengthen alerting.”