July 30 EAS Deadline Looms

eas-logo_300A new set of EAS Rules and Guidelines adopted by the Federal Communications Commission will become effective on July 30, 2016, mandating the following: 

1). All EAS Participants must have an operational EAS Decoder that recognizes the new FCC EAS location ‘FIPS’ Code for “All of United States” #000000.

2). All EAS Participants must have an operational EAS Decoder that recognizes and acts immediately to ‘relay‐to‐air’ an EAS Activation coded with the EAS Event Code; ‘NPT’ (National Periodic Test) that is received with a valid ‘FIPS’ Code.

3). As of June 27, the EAS Test Reporting System is operational and ready to accept filings, according to a release.

EAS participants must complete Form One of ETRS on or before Aug. 26. Corrections or updates must be submitted by Sept. 26. (Forms Two and Three will become available on ETRS at the time of initiation of the September 28, 2016 nationwide test – see below.)

To register for ETRS and access Form One, visit the ETRS page and register. You will then be emailed ETRS account credentials and a link to the login page, which you should click on and then log into. You will then go to the ETRS homepage, which has detailed instructions on how to access Form One. Filers may contact FCC staff for assistance in completing Form One at ETRS@fcc.gov.

4). With ‘ETRS’ operational, Stations must log in and report all EAS Activations to the FCC’s Server using the log‐in account registered for each Station.

5). FEMA has scheduled a National EAS Test for Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 at 2:20 PM EDT. The National EAS Test will originate using the new EAS FIPS Code 000000 and using the EAS Event Code ‘NPT’ (National Periodic Test).

SIDEBAR via MAB ABIP Inspector R. Dale Gehman:

Unfortunately, many of the original 1996 vintage EAS Decoders/Encoders must now be replaced as they cannot be upgraded to accomplish both the modified response to receipt of an ‘NPT’ Event Code, nor can they be upgraded to recognize the new ‘000000’ FIPS National Location Code.

An example of vintage EAS Gear that cannot be upgraded includes, but not limited to; TFT’s EAS911, the Gray SAGE ENDEC and most of the 1996 era EAS boxes.

Most Stations previously upgraded to current vintage EAS Gear that polls FEMA’s IPAWS-CAP Server via the Internet, in compliance with the FCC Rules. Licensees should insure that current vintage EAS Gear has the latest software and firmware updates prior to July 30, 2016!

Stations that continue to operate with vintage EAS Gear that has not been upgraded successfully to recognize the National FIPS Code ‘000000’ and upgraded with a modified response to the EAS Event Code ‘NPT’ – will be in violation of the Rules on August 1, 2016, a violation that subjects the Licensee to a significant monetary assessment and notice of violation upon inspection.

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