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Groups Seek EAS-CAP Extension

NAB, SBE, state broadcasters and others join in call to FCC for a delay

NAB along together with a handful of other organizations, including the SBE, NCTA, NPR, PBS, MSTV and 40-plus state broadcast associations, among others, have asked the FCC for an extension of the so-called CAP “shot-clock.”

The buzzer on the shot-clock is set to ring on March 29, 2011, the deadline by which EAS encoders/decoders at stations must be able to handle Common Alerting Protocol-formatted alerts.

By the deadline, which is less than six months from now, all EAS participants must have acquired, installed and tested the necessary CAP-compliant equipment. The clock began ticking during the Radio Show, we reported.

The groups have asked for, at the least, an extra six months to comply, bringing the new deadline to Sept. 30. The groups asked the commission to also consider a longer extension until the agency has completed its CAP-related equipment certification process and has resolved its anticipated rulemaking proceeding concerning modifications to Part 11 of the commission’s rules necessary to reflect CAP.

The groups wrote to the FCC: “The commission’s own record in its EAS proceedings well illustrates the difficulties posed by potentially requiring as many as 25,000 to 30,000 EAS Participants to acquire from a limited number of suppliers new, sophisticated equipment that is subject to governmental certification. Furthermore, a substantial amount of regulatory uncertainty remains that prevents EAS Participants from making the necessary, informed decisions regarding what equipment to acquire and install.”

Resolution of that uncertainty is within the control of FEMA and the commission, they added.

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