SBE Calls for EAS Overhaul

SBE Calls for EAS Overhaul
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The Society of Broadcast Engineers says the Emergency Alert System has passed the point where simple modifications are no longer applicable. In comments to the FCC, it has listed numerous recommendations for changes and improvement to the EAS.
The group has made some of these suggestions in a previous EAS inquiry, as reported here.
It calls for the creation of point-multipoint distribution systems for the distribution of EAS messages from their sources to those systems that transmit emergency messages to the public and for the elimination of the EBS-era daisy-chain system.
"Because of the critical need to provide text messages to existing television-based systems and a growing array of non-broadcast EAS participants, the SBE also called for the adoption of the Common Alerting Protocol as the vehicle for the distribution of emergency messages from their sources," SBE stated.
"In addition, the filing calls on the FCC to create EAS performance standards, to eliminate broadcasters as an EAS origination source, to provide federal funding and training for a national system, and to mandate consumer electronic devices to have warning capabilities."
In a statement, SBE Vice President Clay Freinwald, chair of its EAS committee, said, "It is the SBE's view that the EAS has reached a point where simple modifications or band-aid approaches are no longer applicable. The most recent Report and Order augmenting the EAS is a clear call for the application of additional technology to not only correct existing issues, but make changes in the way the systems works in order to enable the EAS to move forward and serve more U.S. citizens via an ever-growing number of electronic communication systems."


Overhauling EAS

Fortunately some key government folks charged with emergency alerting and management appear to have agreed with my analysis and are calling for a complete overhaul of the EAS system.


In the SBE Short Circuits of Aug. 21, the Society of Broadcast Engineers provided an explanation of the EAS rules change on broadcasters.

EAS Poised for Massive Overhaul

Few broadcasters have not complained about the shortcomings of EAS. For more than 50 years, our government-imposed emergency alerting systems have tried and too often failed to fulfill their collective intended mission and benefit to the public.

Group Sees No Major EAS Overhaul

The FCC could begin discussions this summer on recommendations from the Media Security and Reliability Council on ways to ensure the delivery of emergency information via public warning systems in this country. Yet warning experts expect the process to be "measured and deliberate" and that any immediate overhaul of the Emergency Alert System is unlikely.