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Get Those EAS Test Forms In, Advises Law Firm

Participants in the nationwide Emergency Alert System test Sept. 27 have a Monday, Aug. 28 deadline for filing their updated information (the 2017 ETRS Form One) to the FCC.

The website of law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is warning broadcasters that the emergency test warning system (ERTS) has been updated and requires more information than in the past as well as setting up passwords and log-ins.

Their advice, don't wait until the last minute.

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"So if you were procrastinating before filing the Form 1, or tried and were stymied by the FCC’s updated filing system, it’s time to get moving. Monday’s deadline is coming fast," blogged Pillsbury's Lauren Lynch Flick.

All EAS participants—which includes TV and radio stations and cable and satellite operators—are required to participate in the nationwide test.

If something happens to make Sept. 27 unworkable, the back-up test date is Oct. 4.

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The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has also released the latest edition of the EAS Operating Handbook (available here) and recommend participants bone up before 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
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.