FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
November 3, 2005
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
Janice Wise at (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today issued a First Report and Order to help ensure that consumers using digital broadcast and subscription television and radio services have access to emergency alert and warning information. Noting the ever-increasing use of digital technologies by Americans, the First Report and Order expands the Commission's current EAS rules to include providers of digital broadcast and cable TV, digital audio broadcasting, satellite radio, and direct broadcast satellite services. With the exception of Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service, all affected entities must comply with these new requirements by December 31, 2006. DBS services must comply no later than May 31, 2007.
The Commission also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on how the Commission can best help develop a next-generation alert and warning system that takes full advantage of digital media's potential. The Commission seeks comment on the type of system architecture and common protocols that would be required in such a system. The Commission also asks questions regarding specific technologies, particularly, how the Commission could facilitate the effective integration of wireless technologies into a next generation alert and warning system, and whether traditional telephone companies that plan to provide high definition digital content to customers' homes through fiber optic connections should have public alert and warning responsibilities. In addition, the Further Notice seeks comment on issues relating to the participation of state and local authorities in the EAS system.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also asks how a next generation EAS can more effectively reach individuals with hearing and vision disabilities. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on how the EAS rules should be revised to more effectively reach non-English speaking individuals.
Action by the Commission, November 3, 2005, First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 05-191). Chairman Martin, Commissioners Abernathy, Copps, and Adelstein. Separate statements issued by Chairman Martin, Commissioners Abernathy, Copps, and Adelstein.
Enforcement Bureau Contact: Janice Wise (202) 418-8165