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FEMA Asks FCC to Reconsider Portions of EAS Decision

Text-to-speech conversion sought to make EAS messages complete

FEMA has asked the FCC to reconsider portions of its latest EAS Report and Order.

The agency has told the commission that portions of its 5th Report & Order on EAS limits the ability of local emergency management officials to reap the benefits of Common Alerting Protocol messaging standards for EAS.

The FCC had deferred text-to-speech conversion for a separate proceeding. That is at the heart of FEMA’s objections. FEMA writes that one possible consequence of not allowing such conversions is that CAP messages supplied without audio content may cause a CAP-EAS device to interrupt the station programming and only convey an EAS header, possibly an alert signal and an end-of-message notification.

For radio, “no information usable by the public would be conveyed,” according to Antwane Johnson, division director of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which urged the FCC to allow speech-to-text technology to support EAS.

Suppliers Ask FCC to Rethink Text-to-Speech Decision