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                        STATEMENT OF 

Re:       Review of the Emergency Alert System

     September 11 and events in this country since have 
highlighted the need for a warning system which affords 
national as well as state and local authorities the 
capability to provide emergency communications and 
information to the American public.  The EAS serves as our 
primary alert system today for everything from weather 
emergencies to Amber alerts to save abducted children.  

     The Commission asked its Media Security and Reliability 
Council to examine the best means to reach the broadest 
possible population with emergency and public safety 
information.  We also benefited in our deliberations from 
the analysis and recommendations of the Partnership for 
Public Warning, a public-private partnership whose goal is 
to increase emergency preparedness.  These groups addressed 
shortcomings in the current EAS, including, among others, 
the need to upgrade the system and enhance its use for 
providing state and local, as well as national, emergency 
information.  They considered the important goal of finding 
ways to integrate diverse technologies so people can receive 
information in myriad ways.  And these expert committees 
concluded that while improvements to the EAS are needed, it 
remains integral to our national warning system.  

     I appreciate my colleagues' willingness to accelerate 
action on these recommendations through an NPRM rather than 
a start-from-scratch Notice of Inquiry.   The issues on 
which we seek comment, in addition to the ones I've already 
mentioned, include bringing our warning system into the 
digital era, ensuring the security of the EAS, and 
addressing how best to provide emergency information to all 
segments of our population, including those with 
disabilities and those whose primary language is not 
English.  We unfortunately do not have the luxury of time in 
these efforts.  I vote for this item with the understanding 
that we will work aggressively in partnership with other 
government agencies, industry, and all stakeholders to 
promote a comprehensive national public warning capability.