The due dates are now set for public comments about FCC plans to strengthen the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.
A notice of proposed rulemaking is intended to encourage more state and local involvement, support greater testing and awareness of the system and enhance EAS security among other things. Now that it has been published in the Federal Register, we know the deadlines: Comments are due May 9 and reply comments June 7.
As Radio World reported in January, the FCC is considering, among other things, adopting new EAS designations to better reflect current roles and responsibilities of key EAS participants including radio stations. It wants to streamline and update the State EAS Plan filing process by requiring SECCs to file plans electronically, and to adopt a standard online template for State EAS Plan content. The commission also proposes to require participants to certify performance of security best practices, given concerns in recent years over EAS hoaxes and hack vulnerabilities; it spends an extensive discussion on the topic of EAS security. It wants EAS participants to submit an annual reliability certification form that attests to performance of required security measures in four core areas: patch management, account management, segmentation and CAP Digital Signature Validation.
The proposal also recommends allowing federal, state and local governments to issue public service announcements using the EAS sound attention signal, provided that the alert is presented in a non-misleading manner.
Use proceeding number 15-94 for EAS and 15-91 for wireless alerts when filing comments.