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                        STATEMENT OF 

Re:       Review of the Emergency Alert System

     This Order paves the way for bringing our warning 
system into the digital era.  There is every reason to make 
this a priority, from the threat of more terrorism to the 
continuing ravages of nature that we have endured this 
summer.  So I am pleased that we are moving to expand EAS 
into the new digital technologies that so many Americans are 

     Surely it is also time to explore a more comprehensive 
EAS system.  People today use communications devices to 
receive information in so many ways -- wireline, wireless, 
radio and television broadcasting, satellite, cable, IP 
technologies, and others.  To make our warning systems and 
information dissemination as effective as possible, we need 
to figure out how to integrate these diverse technologies.

     While the Further Notice is rather brief, I hope 
everyone will realize the many questions that need to be 
addressed as we bring the EAS into the Twenty-first century.  
For example, we need to make sure that all Americans receive 
emergency information, including those with disabilities and 
those whose primary fluency is in a language other than 
English.  In the recent hurricanes, tens of thousands of 
residents whose primary language is not English lacked 
access to the information and warnings that others were 
receiving.  We need to solve this problem.

     Secondly, we need to realize that although EAS is a 
national system, it also affords state and local authorities 
the capability to provide emergency information on 
everything from weather emergencies to Amber alerts that 
save abducted children.  So we need to decide who exactly, 
and at what level, can activate this system.  And does it 
make sense that employment of the system remains voluntary 
in most instances?  

     So there is a lot to do to complete this proceeding.  
And we do not have the luxury of time in these 
efforts¾terrorists and hurricanes don't wait on us.  These 
are critical questions that are integral to our public 
safety and homeland security efforts.  I look forward to 
working on this with my colleagues and with our new Bureau 
which I hope will be up and running soon.