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SBE Proposes CAP-EAS Implementation Strategy

‘We wanted to do what we could .... to move this process along.’

The Society for Broadcast Engineers floated a strategy for implementing CAP-EAS during this week’s EAS summit.

Entercom’s Clay Freinwald, chair of the SBE’s EAS committee, described the four-page document spearheaded by Gary Timm, broadcast chair of the Wisconsin EAS committee, as “a way to get from here to there.” In its proposal, the SBE said it would offer its members’ services, as appropriate, for relevant working groups.

One group proposed by the SBE would develop the CAP-EAS profile to be mandated by FEMA for use in every state, regardless of distribution means, to ensure interoperability among states and devices. Proposed tasks include deciding where each EAS parameter goes in each CAP-EAS message and coordinating those messages with the National Weather Service for its NOAA Weather Radios.

A suggested distribution network working group could make recommendations to FEMA and the FCC on possible ways to distribute CAP-EAS messages, such as using vacated 700 MHz TV bandwidth for local last-mile distribution.

And a group focusing on on-air displays could coordinate efforts with the National Radio Systems Committee to develop a common user experience for CAP-EAS as the group seeks to harmonize RDS and HD Radio text displays, SBE has suggested.

Freinwald told me, “We wanted to do what we could to, perhaps, move this process along by offering these suggestions.”