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Alert: FCC reminding all Emergency Alert System participants of their “compliance obligations”

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The Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission or FCC) issues this Enforcement Advisory to remind broadcasters, cable television operators, wireless cable operators, wireline video service providers, satellite digital audio radio service providers, and direct broadcast satellite providers (EAS Participants)1 of their obligation to comply with the EAS rules, including ensuring that EAS alerts are accessible to persons with disabilities.2 In reporting on the most recent national level test of the EAS, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau noted improvements in key areas, but identified several issues that impair dissemination of EAS messages.3The 2019 Nationwide EAS Test Report noted, for instance, that EAS Participants must ensure that messages comply with the FCC’s requirements designed to make the message accessible to individuals with hearing and vision disabilities.4 Below we highlight EAS Participants’ obligations and identify measures to improve the dissemination and accessibility of EAS alerts.

The Emergency Alert System
The EAS is a national public warning system that enables the President to communicate via live audio transmission to the public during a national emergency (full documentation here).


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