This article has been updated to clarify the statement of a "first" statewide CAP-compliant rollout.
Global Security Systems said its GSS Alert Studio has been designated the official origination and retrieval tool for Alabama’s Emergency Alert System, creating a statewide Common Alert Protocol-compliant rollout for creating and retrieving emergency alerts.
GSS calls this the first satellite-based, end-to-end CAP statewide network and the first in which the CAP message is delivered directly to all CAP broadcast devices, not first translated to EAS for broadcast by a legacy EAS encoder.
“Once generated in the GSS Alert Studio, the CAP-EAS messages are sent across the GSSNet dedicated satellite network to Sage Endec units in Local Primary 1 and 2 (LP1/LP2) FM radio stations across Alabama,” according to its summary.
“The GSS Alert Studio can create and retrieve alerts in multiple formats — WAV/MP3 files, live text to speech (including in Spanish), and live recorded messages — that are disseminated on a national, regional or hyper-local basis to receivers of AM, FM and HD Radio signals.”
In addition, the system allows the Emergency Operation Center to create and distribute CAP-EAS messages statewide through a dedicated Internet broadband satellite uplink provided by HughesNet. The idea of the satellite system is to provide “instant Internet infrastructure” when terrestrial systems aren’t available.
Among others, GSS quoted Larry Wilkins, chairman of the Alabama State Emergency Communications Committee, and Sharon Tinsley, president of the Alabama Broadcasters Association and National Association of State Broadcast Associations, in the announcement.