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                          STATEMENT OF

     Re:  Review of the Emergency Alert System, Notice of 
     Proposed Rulemaking

     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 

     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.