EAS Rules Clarification

Required Weekly Tests

Currently Required Weekly Tests (RWT) do not include audio and therefore do not simulate all the elements of a real EAS event. Further, broadcasters are not warning originators so weekly tests do not simulate either manual or automatic relay of warnings from authorized emergency managers. I suggest that Part 11 be changed so closed circuit weekly or daily testing using IP can be used (if local plans permit it) to verify that warning originators are indeed connected to CAP EAS equipment at entry points.

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Comments

  1. Comment
    stevencj.nc

    RWT do require audio, they don't require video (per Part 11). Procedurally, I think most TV participants use video and audio as it is simpler to do so than to do audio only on this one event. Weekly or daily IP closed circuit testing would be a good idea if it can be done without putting an additional reporting burden on participants, which should be possible.

  2. Comment
    jeffsmith

    A RWT does not require audio by rule...just the FSK "duck farts". Any message before or after a RWT id just a curtousy to the stations listeners/viewer. A RMT does require an annoucment during it. Not sure if the National test will replace the RWT or the RMT for the week/month it airs.

  3. Comment
    jeffsmith

    The only thing I disagree with, in this forum, is the need for a IP test for CAP. This is soley about a exsisting EAS system Nationla Test. After this test happens and teh results are gone over, a test with CAP should be planned.

  4. Comment
    jgrimes

    Just my opinion here but I believe the spirit of the RWT was to ensure that the EAS equipment at the Broadcasters facility was functioning. Side benefit to that is that it keeps the viewership aware that such a system exists.

    That said, the RMT was intended to be the "simulation", from the state-level down.

    There are reporting requirements in place for both, although they're a passive type of system. Basically the burden is on the Broadcaster to prove they ran tests as required if they are inspected. Most of my clients accomplish this by such methods as stapling the EAS logger tapes (if equipped)to the station transmitter logs, or other such method.

    I also agree with jeffsmith about an IP test AT THIS TIME. While its certainly valid, we need to take this in small steps.....lets verify it works with all Broadcast outlets....find the bugs, fix them, and then dive into the IP realm.

    ....Jim

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      atv_rider_7

      yes I understand the spirit of the RWT is to ensure EAS functions at the broadcaster or cable providers facility but what about ensuring the reception of the EAS on the viewer/subscribers end?

  5. Comment
    stevencj.nc

    Jeff, what I meant by audio is the FSK data; not that there has to be speech. I agree.

  6. Comment
    jsensenbach

    I would agree with jgrimes that the spirit of the RWT is to make sure the broadcaster's systems are working. What is forgotten is that the operators are part of the system unless it becomes totally automatic. And broadcasters will leave EAS in droves if the system is fully automatic the first time they have to make good commercials that were dropped for EAS activity. We need to keep the RWT tests to insure that the operators know what to do.

  7. Comment
    b.fisher

    As a State alert originator, we work with our State Primary to conduct RWT's to test our multiple paths to the SP (UHF Radio and telephone coupler). Since we are responsible for real alerts with audio, I require my duty staff, and my other state level alert originators, to record and play back audio prior to using a macro key to transmit the RWT to our SP. It doesn't get aired, but in this respect my written procedures are identical to those of issuing and RMT or actual alert.

  8. Comment
    rar01 ( Idea Submitter )

    b.fisher's comment is an excellent "best practice" for originators!!!

  9. Comment
    Michael

    All test should emulate real world scenario end to end via IP, CAP or additional delivery methods selecting a hand fold of recipients in any broadcast infrastructure, these hand fold or private recipients can also serve as reference points in diverse geographic locations before going live on a mass scale end to end test. Such quite test will be good for the public and weekly or schedule test activities.

  10. Comment
    atv_rider_7

    What about cable equipment that does not support the audio portion of tests when a banner alert is used? For example TiVo and Moxi, two customer owned DVR devices support two forms of broadcasting the emergency alert system.

    • Force tune alerts. For this, the end user’s TiVo or Moxi will tune to the channel on which the cable provider is broadcasting the alert. The colors, audio, and message displayed are options configured by the cable provider and the TiVo or Moxi treats it as it would a normal channel: playing the audio and video from that channel.

    • Text alerts. Motorola and Cisco (SA) systems both support this feature, but in practice it is normally only used on Cisco systems. The end user will see a scrolling banner. The banner will clear once either a valid end time is presented in the EAS package in the broadcast, or a separate termination message is broadcast.

    This is in following of the ANSI/SCTE 18 2007 Emergency Alert Messaging for Cable standard. The support of audio by the manufacturer is optional however which means that if the banner alert is used and audio information is being sent out it won't be processed to the viewer. This is the same for the FSK duck farts.

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