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Info for Broadcasters and Cable Companies

INFO FOR BROADCASTERS AND CABLE COMPANIES:

Amongst other things, Broadcasters and Cable Companies are required by law to:

1.     Be familiar with and comply with FCC Part 11 (EAS rules)

2.     Possess and properly install functional EAS equipment in conformance with the above rules

3.     Have a copy of the latest Local Area EAS Plan and State EAS Plan at your ‘control point’

4.     Have a copy of the associated FCC “EAS Handbook” at your ‘control point’

5.     Monitor a minimum of two sources as assigned in the Local Plan PLUS monitor the IPAWS (FEMA) CAP server and/or the ISAWS (MyState USA) CAP server.

6.     Verify on a weekly basis that you have received either a test or actual EAS alert from each of your monitoring assignments and that you have transmitted a test or actual alert.  Verify that your EAS equipment is successfully “polling” the IPAWS and/or ISAWS server.  The cause of any failure must be determined and documented.

In addition, we recommend that broadcast stations download and review the FCC’s “Broadcast Self-Inspection Checklists” appropriate to your station.  Amongst other things, these include a good summary of what the FCC expects of you with regard to EAS

In a nutshell, EAS works as follows in the State of Idaho:

 

1.     NOAA Weather broadcasts weather warnings via NOAA Weather Radio.

2.     Each region of the state has designated “Local Primary” (LP) broadcast stations who have volunteered to be the monitoring source for broadcasters and cable companies in their region.  They monitor NOAA Weather transmitters and re-broadcast alerts for their region.

3.     Emergency management within state and/or local government contact the State Communications Center (“StateComm”) with any requests to activate the EAS system.  The StateComm personnel are trained to authenticate these requests and get the proper information for generating an EAS alert.  These alerts are then distributed via the State Relay Network to LP stations.  The State Plan provides for multiple backup “Central Activation Centers” that emergency management may use in the unlikely event that circumstances prevent StateComm from providing this function.

4.     StateComm also provides alerts via the Idaho State Alert and Warning System (ISAWS), an Internet based system that provides advanced features over the legacy EAS system.  Currently they have contracted with MyStateUSA to provide this service, which is compliant with the internationally adopted Common Alert Protocol (CAP).

5.     Alerts sent via ISAWS are also forwarded to IPAWS (FEMA’s CAP server).  These alerts are in turn made available to the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), more commonly known as Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA).  Select alerts are distributed to the public via their cell phones.

6.     Alerts from IPAWS (FEMA) are also received via the MyStateUSA CAP server and made available to its subscribers.  Hence, Idaho broadcasters and cable companies that monitor the MyStateUSA CAP server are compliant with FCC rules requiring them to monitor IPAWS.

 

For security and privacy reasons, the Local Area EAS Plans and State EAS Plan is not posted here.  Broadcasters and Cable Companies may contact theirlocal LECC chairman to acquire a copy.  Remember, you are legally required to have a current copy of these plans.  You are strongly encouraged to keep your LECC chairman apprised of your contact information, especially email address, so that he may keep you up to date on EAS matters.  Current versions:

 

· State Plan

· March 2006:  Most recent approved by FCC

· October 2012: Pending FCC Approval.  Includes updates to reflect new FCC requirements regarding monitoring CAP servers.

· Inland Northwest Local Plan: 

· March 2006

· Monitoring Assignments are in Tab 10 of the Washington State Plan and last revised in May 2013

· SW Idaho Local Plan

· May 18, 2012

· SC Idaho Local Plan

· May 2013

· SE Idaho Local Plan

· June 15, 2015

· Attachment C of above, the Monitoring Assignments, was last revised June 10, 2015

 

Please let your LECC chair know of any suggestions you may have to improve this web site or EAS.

Information on this web site is provided as a service and is accurate to the best of our knowledge.  It DOES NOT substitute for competent legal counsel.

For more info in your area of interest, click on the appropriate link on the left.

 

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