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BWWG Urges Feds to Plan Next National EAS Test

Richard Rudman says EAS is a “work in progress”

We’re waiting. That’s what broadcast engineer Richard Rudman is saying about the results of the national EAS test.

In a blog post on the Broadcast Warning Working Group, Rudman says the group hopes the commission acts soon “to address all open EAS issues.”

The November 2011 test focused on the original EAS equipment at the station level, before the Common Alerting Protocol equipment was required to be operational. At the time FEMA, which conducted the national test in concert with the FCC and NWS, hoped there would be another national test.

Part of the issue with releasing data from the test is that the feds promised the results would be private, RW has been told, and even releasing data that stations reported on an aggregated basis could be an issue.

The BWWG hopes the commission makes planning for another national EAS test a priority. Among other reasons for such a test, “While the classic EAS functionality of new equipment should be the same as the classic EAS boxes for the national EAN code, that assumption has not yet been tested in the real world,” writes Rudman.

Planning a second national test should be an FCC priority to make sure all currently installed EAS equipment made by different manufacturers can “play nice” with each other, and to assess progress in resolving all outstanding issues, according to Rudman. Part of the process leading to the next test should be an improved national test reporting system that will confirm that our reports have been filed, “just like countless other online reporting sites for other FCC systems can do,” he believes.