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Sage Box Completes CAP Conformity Program

FEMA action is an assessment, not a certification, but is seen as an important step

The Sage Digital ENDEC Model 3644 has completed FEMA’s IPAWS Conformity Assessment, according to the manufacturer; and Radio World has learned that at least some other manufacturers have received or will soon be getting those assessments.

“The CA program verifies that alert and warning products conform to the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System requirements for the FCC-mandated new addition to Emergency Alert System requirements, the Common Alerting Protocol,” Sage stated.

President Harold Price said Sage has supported this type of testing and that interoperability is important in the national alert system. “In a protocol as broad and open ended as CAP, it is necessary for the various hardware and software components of the EAS system to use a core set of CAP features in exactly same way, so that a message originated by one manufacturer and received by another manufacturer will appear on radio, TV and cable systems with the same information, whether delivered on audio, radio text services or video crawl.”

“A successful completion of the CA shows that a CAP/EAS product conforms to the requirements of CAP for use with IPAWS,” Sage stated in the announcement. “The CA program, in conjunction with an FCC Part 11 certification, shows that the device is ready to help broadcasters meet the FCC’s September 2011 compliance deadline.” Price said the ENDEC already has Part 11 certification, which covers environmental, Part 15, operating in RF fields, tones and EAS. He also noted that “FEMA does not endorse or certify equipment, but the Conformity Assessment program is the process by which FEMA allows manufactures to show that their equipment meets the requirements of CAP, IPAWS and the ECIG Implementation Guide for use with the EAS system. FEMA has now completed another milestone on the way to the CAP rollout, by providing a non-partisan mechanism for manufacturers to show conformance, and a way for buyers to get confidence that the equipment they’ve purchased is suitable for use with CAP.”

Antwane Johnson, IPAWS division director, told Radio World Thursday, “Other companies have passed and we are in the process of providing those companies their test reports. Those companies who were successful can now complete the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) and may post their report and SDoC to the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) website maintained by DHS.” That site provides government officials and the public with access to various product test results; he said company notifications will not appear on that site for a few days or weeks. Compliance testing was done under contract at Eastern Kentucky University. A similar facility is already open in Atlanta.

–Paul McLane