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     Re:  Emergency Alert System, Notice of Proposed 

     I am pleased we launch this review of our nation's 
increasingly outdated Emergency Alert System.  We must move 
quickly to act on this rulemaking and further protect the 
lives of all Americans.  

     Our task is not easy, but we cannot afford to wait.  
The public warning capability of communications technologies 
should be among the highest priorities of this agency.  This 
will take hard work and continued coordination with the 
Department of Homeland Security and our other partners.  

     The Cold-War era EAS system is an imperfect system for 
our modern society, but for the near term it remains one of 
the best options we have to deliver emergency messages to as 
many people as possible as quickly as possible.  The Media 
Security and Reliability Council and the Partnership for 
Public Warning have suggested ways to improve EAS.  The 
Commission must now buckle down and do what it is we are 
asking state and local officials to do - assess 
vulnerabilities, create a plan for better service, and 
review and update that plan as communications technologies 

     The American public expects broadcasters to deliver 
timely local and national emergency and public safety 
information.  For example, the FCC's broadcast localism 
hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, proved how vitally 
important disaster warnings are for rural areas of the 
country.  The County's Emergency Management Director 
testified about the cooperation and collaboration among 
public safety officials and all local broadcasters that 
resulted from a devastating flood and led to a voluntary 
initiative to improve public safety warnings in the county.  
But not all broadcasters and state and local governments 
have taken this step.   

     We should use our oversight of the broadcast and other 
communications industries to ensure more consistency at the 
state and local level.  With the transition of television 
and radio to digital broadcasting, we have an opportunity to 
improve upon the EAS system to communicate emergency and 
public safety information in even more targeted and 
innovative ways.  We can design a system to better serve all 
stakeholders, including the disability community and the 
nation's many non-English speakers.    

     But we must act quickly.  In conjunction with our other 
federal partners, the American public counts on us to ensure 
a public warning system second to none.  It is imperative 
that we quickly put ideas into action and lead our country 
to an even higher level of security.