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FCC Gets Tough With LPFM About EAS

FCC Gets Tough With LPFM About EAS

The FCC has told an LPFM it has 6 months to install an EAS decoder. Under the original commission rules for LPFM’s the stations were granted waivers from the requirement to have EAS equipment installed until at least one FCC certified EAS-decoder was available. (At the time, there were only EAS encoders-decoders on the market.)
In 2002, the agency said there was one such device on the market, and it gave LPFMs until Oct. 24 of this year to comply.
South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, licensee of WRYR(LP), Sherwood, Md., asked for a 24-month waiver extension, citing financial hardship. It argued the EAS decoder would cost $1,800 and the station has no advertising and is run by volunteers and funded through donations.
The commission said the station has known for a year about the requirement, and managed to budget $12,000 for equipment in 2003. Buying the decoder, “is not sufficient magnitude” to justify a 24-month extension, stated the agency.
Further, WRYR(LP) has not shown there are any other stations “within its coverage area with EAS capability, and its efforts to supply emergency information to its listeners, while laudable, are not a sufficient substitute for complying with EAS requirements,” stated the agency in its decision.
The station has six months to comply.