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Regulations FAQs

EAS

What do the FCC rules now require of stations regarding basic EAS equipment that need to be installed at all AM, FM, TV and cable TV facilities?: The FCC rules were changed a while back to include the requirement that stations are all connected to and polling the FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, in addition to their legacy over-the-air monitoring assignments. The requirements are the same for all the new LPFMs and LPTVs.

Many EAS participants purchased new-generation encoding and decoding equipment when CAP and IP connectivity were implemented. But some are still using old legacy units for certain functions. How?: You can use what is commonly called a CAP converter. This is a unit that is connected to the Internet for receiving messages from CAP servers (national and otherwise) and relaying the messages to an older model EAS unit. I don't recommend this, as the newer EAS units contact a number of great features that a station might well find very useful.

What exactly are the RWT and RMT record-keeping requirements? Can stations dispense with paper logs and rely on digital files and information contained inside the new-generation EAS encoders and/or stored on a LAN to demonstrate compliance?: Recordkeeping of EAS activity is certainly a good idea. Sure, you can keep these logs electronicall; however, just like other items that a station keeps track of, stations need to be asking the question, "What is our procedure when an FCC inspector walks through the door?"

Just for discussion, let's assume that this takes place when all of the department heads are on a retreat and only the receptionist is in the building. Will that individual be able to demonstrate EAS compliance and show the inspector the logged information? And will they be able to perform when the inspector asks this person to send a Required Weekly Test? Automatic or computer logging does not relieve the station of EAS responsibilities.

What is expected of stations regarding compliance for tests that were inadvertently missed or not executed properly by the originating station or entity?: Rules regarding what to do when a station misses a test have been in place for many years. The station missing a Required Weekly Test or Required Monthly Test is obligated to find out why the test was missed and log the reason for the failure in their logs.

Are Amber Alerts required to be relayed when transmitted over EAS systems?: No. Just like severe weather warnings or covil emergency warnings, relaying them is 100% voluntary. As broadcaster interested in the community they serve, it is generally assumed that those signals will be transmitted by everyone.