[sbe-eas] Required things to relay [was Chilling Effect]
gtimm at journalbroadcastgroup.com
Wed Feb 17 12:59:22 EST 2010
There are two issues here:
- Which alerts do you feel obligated to carry as an LP-1? That is up to your management's conscience.
- What alerts from the Governor will you be required to carry under CAP?
Regarding this second question:
First, future messages from the Governor will only be must-carry if they are delivered to you in CAP format.
Legacy EAS FSK messages from the Governor will not be must-carry.
This means FEMA must adopt CAP, your state must devise a way to distribute CAP messages, must document that in a revised State EAS Plan to the FCC, the FCC must approve that plan, and then your Governor must acquire the ability to originate CAP messages. Only once all those conditions are met, will the Governor's CAP messages be must-carry.
The way your CAP Decoder will know the message is from the Governor and thus must-carry, is that the Governor's CAP origination software must insert an "EAS-Must-Carry" flag in the CAP message.
So your VEM office can still forward NWS messages as it does now, and even in CAP format if they want, and as long as they don't insert the Governor's special CAP flag, it won't be must-carry.
One would presume that the flag will only be set in the particular software used by the Governor's Office itself, or at a particular location other than the routine VEM origination software.
Gary Timm, Broadcast Chair
From: sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org on behalf of Rich Parker
Sent: Wed 2/17/2010 10:11 AM
To: sbe-eas at sbe.org
Subject: Re: [sbe-eas] Required things to relay [was Chilling Effect]
I have a somewhat related (I hope) question - there is a huge discussion
internally about 'what are we required to broadcast' and it sometimes
devolves into the 'should we not participate at all?' question - which
is really not a realistic option in my view; but there is quite a bit of
concern about how often EAS alerts are 'allowed' to take over our air,
and what is 'actually' required. I think there is also some lack of
understanding of the meaning of 'non-participating' - as I read the
rule, it only applies to national level alerts, still requires the
installation and monitoring of the EAS equipment (with the added burden
of being able to drop carrier if there were in fact an EAN) - but there
is less clarity about 'other' requirements (I assume even
non-participating stations must also do RWT's and RMT's as required)
To some extent this is also related to the following rule (which I
assumefrom the context will go into effect once CAP is adopted) and
which appears to 'strengthen' and 'expand' relaying requirements [but I
may be reading or interpreting this incorrectly?]
> § 11.55 EAS operation during a State or Local Area emergency.
> (a) All EAS Participants within a state (excepting SDARs and DBS
> providers) must receive and transmit state-level and geographically
> targeted EAS messages, as aggregated and delivered by the state
> governor or his/her designee, or by FEMA on behalf of such state
> governor, upon approval by the Commission of an applicable state plan
> providing for delivery of such alerts no sooner than 180 days after
> adoption of CAP by FEMA. Examples of natural emergencies which may
> warrant activation are: Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes,
> heavy snows, icing conditions, widespread fires, etc. Man-made
> emergencies may include: toxic gas leaks or liquid spills, widespread
> power failures, industrial explosions, and civil disorders.
Right now, our state designee (Emergency Management) relays NWS alerts
through their system to us. In general, we immediately relay the more
'obvious' ones - tornado [warnings, not watches], floods [warnings, not
watches] - but not so much 'heavy snows', or 'icing conditions', etc.
Granted, it appears that some of this can be 'ironed out' on the local
level through sensible language in the State EAS Plan - but I imagine
the urge will be for the 'designees' to want to push out more
information rather than less.
What I am trying to help the folks (in programming) sort out is two-fold:
Just because VEM relays the NWS alerts to us, as an LP-1 will we be
'required' to relay those? Or will this narrowly pertain to VEM (or
other representatives of the governor or FEMA) issuing an alert (even if
it happens to contain virtually the same content as the NWS alert, which
is what I would normally expect would happen).
This may seem like an unnecessarily fine distinction, but I think we are
not alone in having programming departments which are increasingly
frustrated by the number of alerts which interrupt programming.
The other point is that we also have a 'public service' mission - but
where is the line between 'being a good citizen and alerting people' and
'relaying messsages because we are required to'?
I'm really trying to help them sort this out in a sane way that complies
now and will comply later when CAP is adopted.
Thanks for any guidance - if you have been down this road with your
programming folks, I'd be happy for any anecdotes (successful situations
or otherwise) and how you managed that. (on or off-list)
Rich Parker, GSEC
Director of Engineering
Vermont Public Radio
On 9/17/2009 5:07 PM, Kirk Chestnut wrote:
> Our LPs have voiced their desire to relinquish the testing liability
> to someone else. I have to agree with Clay, testing should be taken
> off the backs of stations.
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