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FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for EAS Refresh

July 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Review of the Emergency Alert System [EB Docket No. 04-296] was published in the Federal Register, officially setting the deadlines for public input as August 14, 2014 for initial comments and August 29, 2014 for reply comments.  Stakeholders are invited to comment on issues identified following the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System on November 9, 2011.  Although the test was regarded as successful, the Bureau noted that more recent technological advances could aid in ensuring more effective alerting through EAS. Accordingly, the FCC is seeking comment on the adoption of a national location code, which could indicated that the entire country as an affected area during emergencies or tests of the EAS system.  The FCC is also seeking comment on the adoption of rules requiring EAS participants to submit results of EAS tests to the FCC within 45 days of a system test. Finally, the Nationwide Test revealed that the visual text crawls accompanying the alert were often reported as unreadable due to either the speed of the crawl or the font.  Accordingly, the Bureau is seeking comment the introduction of standards for visual text crawls, specifically noting the need for standards regarding the crawl speed, completeness and placement of text information and the need to ensure that audio and visual information provide identical information.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.