As it receives feedback from station engineers and others, the FCC continues to revise instructions for the electronic form it wants broadcasters and other participants to fill out for Wednesday’s national EAS test.
In the new e-form instructions, the agency states: “Broadcasters are encouraged to provide information only for their main, full-power facilities.” A form needs to be submitted for each main, full-power transmitter facility.
One of the big questions engineers were asking was whether stations needed to enter a separate reporting form for each translator, booster or HD Radio multicast channel. The answer is no.
A commission staffer clarified to Radio World that each “sub” channel is required to carry the alert, however the main station is not required to submit a “Form 1” for each sub channel, translator or booster. It has provided instructions on “Form 3” for those who wish to provide that information. Form 2 is a shorter “day of the test” form.
LPFMs do need to fill out a form. Those licensees should look at their state EAS plans to determine their designation. If there’s no designation for LPFMs in that plan (or no state plan), an LPFM should say it’s a “Participating National” for the purposes of the test.
In the “Contact Information” portion of the form, entering a work cell phone number now is voluntary. Some engineers had previously reported they could only submit the form if they provided one.
Once a station submits its information, it cannot access or change the information, for privacy reasons. If you filled out the form and now think something is wrong, re-enter the information and resubmit a new filing.
The commission is encouraging stations to use the e-form but cannot mandate that without a more lengthy, formal process. Alternatively, it’s preparing a paper form asking roughly the same information for those who wish to file that way.