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FCC Releases Final Guidelines for First-Ever National EAS Test

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The Federal Communications Commission will test the Emergency Alert System nationwide for the first time on Nov. 9 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Televisionbroadcast.com acquired a copy of the FCC’s final handbook, which says the test will last about three minutes, a minute longer than the normal time limit for EAS alerts.

Broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, wireline video providers, satellite radio providers and satellite TV providers are all required by law to participate in the test.

All participants must submit a form to the FCC before Nov. 9 providing identification information, including name and EAS equipment manufacturer. A second form will be due on Nov. 9 asking participants if they received the alert and were able to pass it on.

Broadcast stations are running public service announcements ahead of the test to familiarize the public with the test.

The EAS was launched in 1998 as a replacement for the Emergency Broadcast System, designed to allow the president to address the public in the event of a national emergency. The EAS is frequently used to alert the public during weather emergencies.

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One comment

  1. I think the test is a great idea. We have a weather radio and get test all the time for bad weather and Aber alerts. The only thing i have against this EAS is this. Given the current situation we are in with Terrorist, why does the FCC broadcast and let the world know when we are going to run a test. IT would seem to me that the bad elements will also hear the message and think what a great time to do something horrible and nobody would react to it expecting it’s a test. Test are great, don’t get me wrong, But when you do a test, IMHO it always tells us it’s a test. Just food for thought.

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