SBE Says Broadcast EAS Changes at Least a Year Away

Last week the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) held a meeting to discuss the next generation of public alerting systems. These systems will modify or replace the current Emergency Alert System (EAS). The meeting, held in Washington D.C., included representatives from the FCC, FEMA, NOAA, NAB and the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations (NASBA).

A report on the meeting on the SBE Short Circuits web page said there is much work to be done before any firm plan for the next generation alerting plan will be known. The government agencies welcomed input from the broadcast industry and broadcasters’ help will be solicited in the design of the system.

FEMA will send a first assessment of the architecture of the system to the While House by the end of the year. The SBE Short Circuits report says, “SBE representatives came away from the meeting feeling that there will likely be no action required of local broadcasters for at least a year and possibly longer.”

NASDA representatives made it clear that funding for any required equipment should come from the federal government.

Representing SBE at the meeting were Clay Freinwald, national SBE Emergency Alert System (EAS) Committee chair and leader of the meeting, Richard Rudman, a member of SBE’s EAS Committee, and John Porey, executive director.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.