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WVID Fined $8,000

Not being able to transmit an EAS alert without manual intervention gets Puerto Rico FM in hot water

While noncommercial “Capital del Jazz” WVID(FM), Anasco, Puerto Rico, had an EAS system that worked with manual help, on its own, the equipment couldn’t break into programming to transmit an alert. This was especially an issue when the station was unattended.

That’s why the FCC has proposed an $8,000 fine against licensee Centro Colegial Cristiano.

FCC agents from the San Juan office found the situation during an inspection this past April. They had responded to a complaint.

The station director demonstrated to the agents that the EAS equipment couldn’t transmit an EAS message without a person manually reducing the on-air programming volume down to zero or mute. He believed the equipment had needed manual intervention since at least September 2011.

WVID is staffed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and unattended overnight.

The commission says every station is part of the nationwide EAS network and is categorized as a participating national EAS source. Calling EAS critical to public safety, the FCC takes EAS violations seriously.

Stations must ensure that EAS encoders, decoders, and attention signal generating and receiving equipment are installed and operational so that the monitoring and transmitting functions are available when the station is operating. When a station is unattended, the rules require stations to use automatic systems to interrupt programming to transmit an alert.

Centro Colegial Cristiano has 30 days to appeal or pay the fine. It also has the same amount of time to submit a sworn statement to the San Juan office certifying that its EAS equipment is fully operational when the station is unattended.