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National EAS Testing Warrants More Time for Discussion

Commission extends comment deadline

The Federal Communications Commission is giving the public more time to file comments in the Emergency Alert System proceeding.

Specifically, the agency has proposed requiring national testing of the EAS at least once a year and expects data collection from those tests.

The original comment deadline was March 1; NAB asked for an extension, saying that giving parties more time would help the association develop better comments in respond to the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, particularly concerning the technical challenges and issues relevant to nationwide testing of EAS.

NAB also notes that the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations and NAB will hold an annual EAS National Summit in Washington next week. This conference will bring together representatives from the FCC, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Capitol Hill and the broadcasting industry to discuss EAS, public warning and reliability, and emergency preparedness issues generally.

Broadcasters intend to use the meeting to discuss the proposed nationwide EAS testing and other matters raised in the notice, according to NAB.

The FCC said this week an extension would be in the public interest and moved the comment deadline on its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [to EB Docket No. 04-296] to March 15.