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NAB Backs a National EAS Test

But it questions the appropriateness of sharing data about specific EAS participants in the broad public realm.

The National Association of Broadcasters supports the idea of a nationwide, annual test of the Emergency Alert System.

That’s what it told the Federal Communication Commission in comments (PDF) filed as part of a commission review.

The trade association believes nationwide tests should be limited to a once a year so the public doesn’t tune out the exercise. NAB also recommends that before the first national test, someone review all state EAS plans and EAS handbooks to “illuminate discrepancies and clarify uncertainties” that could affect the tests.

The FCC has said it wants to make public all the data on the tests. NAB said while it appreciates the need for government to collect and analyze feedback, it questions the appropriateness of sharing EAS participant-specific data with entities beyond the commission’s federal partners and authorized emergency management officials.

“Because of the complexity of the system and its dependence on multiple entities, it can be extremely difficult to ascertain the precise cause of failure,” wrote NAB.

The association recommended that the FCC require EAS equipment manufacturers to publicize information on any necessary equipment modifications and that the agency develop EAS equipment certification requirements.

Reply comments on the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due to EB Docket 04-296 on April 13.

Hello, This Is Your President” (Feb. 2010)