FCC: Sept. 27 EAS Test Still On

The FCC says its Sept. 27 (2:20 p.m. EDT) nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is still on track.

Were, say, another hurricane hitting the U.S., it would have been postponed to Oct. 4.

The alert includes broadcast, cable and satellite, but will not incorporate wireless emergency alerts.

Related: FCC, FEMA, Schedule Net EAS Test

The FCC and FEMA are teaming on the test, which is to help assess the "operational readiness" of the system and identify any issues. Specifically, they are focusing on testing FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) common alerting gateway.

Last week, the FCC said it would be giving some areas already hit by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria more time to file reports on the test.

The FCC pronounced its most recent (Sept. 28, 2016) test a success per the standard that the vast majority of participants successfully received (94%) and transmitted (82%) the warning code and, in comparison to the 2011 test, there was "significant improvement."

In the room-for-improvement department, there were problems with poor audio and with disability access.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.