[SBE] Fwd: FW: LP1 KWVE fined for EAS error
rar01 at mac.com
Sun Sep 20 11:28:29 EDT 2009
Some of you have heard me say this before, but it bears repeating now.
Broadcasting is a conduit to get emergency messages to the public, NOT
an originator. The legal duty to warn, not to mention the authority to
warn, does not lie in the broadcast community.
The legal duty for issuing emergency warnings rests with those charged
with agencies managing emergencies or agencies that develop
information that should lead to the public taking appropriate
This covers everything from AMBER to tornados.
There is nothing written in Part 11 that brings together those who do
have the legal if not moral duty to warn with broadcasters who relay
warnings to the public.
Where EAS has not worked, leading to comments that Warren and Henry
make, local emergency management and local broadcasters have never
come together to make that connection work. Failures to make EAS work
have occurred on each side as well as in tandem. We have countering
examples of where EAS does work where that connection has been made by
productive and honest effort from both sides.
Nailing an LP station with a fine for omitting an EOM goes over the
RMT origination should always be done from warning centers. Period.
We can only hope that SBE's efforts working with FEMA and the FCC will
bring about constructive change that will bring warning message
originators and disseminators together. A big part of this process
should be the elimination of the LP distribution model. Warning
originators should put in systems that get warnings in tandem to all
broadcast entry points. SBE calls these distribution methods Local
Relay Networks (LRN's). NOAA NWS/NWR has done this for years. There
may have to be exceptions to elimination of LP relays based on
coverage and reception problems, but the LP model just perpetuates the
"daisy chain" we all thought we got rid of when we went from EBS to EAS.
One other point. In my opinion CAP-enhanced EAS can and should result
in turning radio receivers and video set top boxes into warning
appliances that could address many problems, including the "3 AM and
everyone's asleep" issue, and make it unnecessary for stations from
doing what I consider to be useless RWT's.
We know enough now about what works to tell those in charge what to
fix, and how to fix it. Simply throwing up our collective hands about
warnings is wrong, and flies in the face of what our profession is all
about -- identifying problems and suggesting solutions.
On Sep 20, 2009, at 7:25 AM, A9xw at cs.com wrote:
> I've said EAS should be eliminated. Here is another example courtesy
> of the IL LP
> SBE should denounce the EAS system and stop support.
> Henry Ruhwiedel
> From: "Warren Shulz" <warren.shulz at citcomm.com>
> Date: September 19, 2009 12:49:30 AM PDT
> To: <a9XW at cs.com>
> Subject: FW: LP1 KWVE fined for EAS error
> If this is true I can't see anyone wanting to step up to a LP EAS
> status. This is a nail in EAS' coffin. The FCC will not touch
> state plans. If my 33 LP IL stations decide to take a hike the
> linking process over broadcast is done. No state wide RMT, no
> monitor assignments except NOAA.
> May be that would be a good thing. Then the FCC could step in and
> fine all stations for failure to monitor and transmit RMT.
> Every day I agree with your comment letter. Remove Part 11 from the
> rules. Let NOAA take over the Presidental Alert requirement.
> Receipt of the NOAA RWT is proof of performance.
>> From Radio Ink 9/18/09
> EAS Test Errors Lead To $5,000 NAL
> September 17, 2009: The FCC's Enforcement Bureau has issued an
> $5,000 notice of apparent liability to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa
> for EAS errors at its KWVE/San Clemente, CA.
> The FCC sent a letter of inquiry to the station after receiving a
> complaint that commercial programming and an advertisement had been
> transmitted in an EAS test message. The station responded that an
> employee mistakenly transmitted an unauthorized required monthly
> test instead of a scheduled weekly EAS test, then failed to transmit
> the end-of-message code, so other programming and the ad were
> retransmitted by other broadcasters in the area.
> The FCC first notes that the test was not conducted as required in
> the EAS Operating Handbook and, although it says it doesn't appear
> that the EAS signal was misused to draw attention to the
> advertisement and other content, has proposed a $5,000 forfeiture
> for the procedural errors.
> If this story is a reward for being a LP I think those who read this
> NAL are going to think long and hard about continued volunteer duty
> as a LP station. Make a human error and it can cost the owner a
> $5k forfeiture for being a volunteer LP station! This could
> collapse state plans that use LP stations to a non-existing EAS
> plan. This really puts the LP station operator in a bind for a
> human error event. Getting a station to accept a LP assignment is
> going to get a step more difficult. I tell my state LP stations do
> only what's required and don't volunteer anything beyond what is not
> in regulatory requirements. But this event takes it over the top.
> With industry wide staff reductions training has had to suffer.
> Fining station owners for operator error for inadvertent action
> does not improve the system.
> I know of a event at an Ohio LP station where the Sage EAS unit
> malfunctioned during a planned RMT. LP station sent RMT planned
> test and SAGE went into re-boot and the LP station could not close
> the test lacking a way to send the EOM data. All stations were re-
> broadcasting LP station audio until the down stream timed out or the
> operators disconnected. Stuff happens. Hitting operators with
> fines does not make it better. No matter how much you train
> operators things happen.
> We had the inadvertent June 26, 2007 EAN test propagate thought IL
> from a FEMA closed circuit test that took down the entire state.
> That was a far more serious event and many stations ended up re-
> broadcasting monitor assignments until they could power down the EAS
> uint. As you know the EAN code has no time out limit.
> Should the FCC fine FEMA $500,000 for interrupting all Illinois
> broadcast and cable operations with this human error? Recall this
> EAN test was sent 3 times in a few minutes. Shouldn't the
> person(s) causing the error be fined or imprisoned? From what I am
> aware the event was a good intention to test and the closed circuit
> test leaked out. Again stuff happens. lessons were learned and we
> move on.
> I keep yelling we have a Presidential alert system at the ready for
> 58 years that has been untested. Congress should fine the FEMA/FCC
> for failure to comply with a Presidential Executive Order by a $1-
> million budget forfeiture to these agencies for failure to perform.
> Who holds these agencies accountable?
> If I were the owner of KWVE my first action would be to resign LP1
> status. 2nd is fire the operator. And 3rd put the EAS in automatic
> unattened mode so this could not occur again and hope the FCC backs
> down the fine. If the story is true so much for being a good
> Keeping state plans operational is now going to get one step harder.
> Warren Shulz
> IL EAS SECC
> The SBE Roundtable, SBE at sbe.org
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