NAB Files Comments in FCC EAS Proceeding

In reply comments filed last week, the National Association of Broadcasters said the FCC's proposals for modifications to the Emergency Alert System "would not, at this time, lead to improvement in public warning." NAB covered three areas in its reply comments.

The comments said carriage requirements for gubernatorial messages were unnecessary and that requiring coverage of EAS gubernatorial messages "is a solution in search of a problem."

NAB also said that rather than impose audio transcription requirements, "the FCC should work towards effective technical solutions to harmonize audio and video emergency information." NAB explained that mandating audio transcription of emergency information is, at this time, "not a viable option." NAB said there are not enough real-time captioners available to make audio transcription feasible. It would also impose substantial costs on stations and "may act as a deterrent to timely and voluntary dissemination of emergency information for all Americans."

Finally, NAB said the FCC had to address the problem of cable overrides, which can limit cable subscribers' access to information broadcast by local TV stations. NAB asked for the FCC to mandate selective override, which would omit certain channels from interruption by the cable system's EAS message.

For additional information, see the NAB Reply Comments in the Review of the Emergency Alert System.