FCC to Launch EAS Test Reporting System

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The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has released a public notice announcing the format and features of the new Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test Reporting System (ETRS) that the FCC will launch later in 2016 in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) test of the EAS.  The ETRS is designed to increase the reliability and value proposition of the EAS, while minimizing reporting burdens on EAS Participants.  Specifically, the ETRS will be able to accurately chart what happened in a particular test when an emergency alert is released.  For instance, state and federal agency alert originators can identify single points of failure, poor transmission paths, and coverage gaps before they can potentially cause a system failure.  ETRS will be built to be scalable, so that it can deliver reports on everything from county-wide to nationwide emergency alerts.  Furthermore, ETRS is built on a platform that can be easily integrated with other FCC databases, such as the outage and licensing databases, so that it can leverage data that enhances the reliability of the EAS while, at the same time, reducing the need to re-collect data that EAS participants have already provided via other databases.  FEMA has previously announced its intent to conduct a nationwide test of the EAS on September 28, 2016.

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