With the next national EAS test announced for August 7 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern (with a backup date of August 21), the FCC has opened up the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) for stations to enter their information.  All EAS participants are required to renew their identifying information annually with ETRS Form One, and required to submit filings on or before July 3.

The full FCC press release is here.

Each EAS participant is required to file a separate copy of Form One for each of its EAS decoders, EAS encoders or units that combine decoder and encoder functions.

There are a few exceptions to the requirement to file Form One. They are analog and digital low-power TV stations that operate as TV broadcast translator stations; FM broadcast booster stations and FM translator stations that rebroadcast the programming of other local FM broadcast stations; and analog and digital stations that operate as satellites or repeaters of a hub station and rebroadcast 100% of the programming of the hub station.

In addition, the commission has set a deadline of August 7 on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT to file ETRS Form Two, which covers “day of test” information. Post-test data covered in ETRS Form Three will need to be submitted by September 23.

With regard to the national test itself, this test will rely solely on the broadcast-based daisy chain where the test is initiated on certain broadcast primary stations, then rebroadcast by stations that monitor those primary stations, who then pass on the test to other stations that monitor these secondary stations and so on down the line to all the EAS participants. This test will not use the Internet-based IPAWS system used in other recent tests.

MAB Washington Counsel David Oxenford advises “In the run-up to the August test, broadcasters should be sure that their EAS receivers are in working order and are tuned to receive the correct stations that they should be monitoring in order to receive alerts. Check your state EAS plan to make sure you know what stations you are to monitor. Make sure that you have been receiving and logging (in your station log) weekly and monthly tests as required by the FCC rules. If you have not been receiving these tests, that likely indicates problems either with your receivers or with the stations that you are monitoring – so find out the reasons for missing tests now and take any corrective actions (as you are required to by the rules). Check out all of your other EAS equipment to make sure that everything is working properly and prepare for the other paperwork obligations that arise because of the upcoming test.”

 

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