Tower Location to Remain Private in New EAS State Plans

The FCC is making it easier for states to file their Emergency Alert System plan reports; this and other changes come as the industry grapples with the aftermath of a false missile alert in Hawaii this January. States can file plans electronically using the Commission’s new Alert Reporting System (ARS), which will replace paper-filed plans. Data will be entered into a pre-configured online template, making the broadcast station information included in the new state plans streamlined and consistent, according to the FCC.

A change of interest to readers, tower locations and the placement of other alerting distribution architecture are considered sensitive, “particularly when aggregated with similar information from other states,” states the FCC in the Report and Order. That’s why it’s adopting safeguards to ensure only authorized entities access the data. A State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) or a broadcaster must provide their ID, an individual user ID, and a password to input data into the ARS.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called the move “a step forward” that would “improve the mechanics of filing state plans.” She had suggested state EAS plans be consistent when she testified before a Senate field hearing in Hawaii last week, Inside Towers reported.

The FCC extended its proposed six-month compliance timeframe to one year after SECC’s said the shorter due date was burdensome.

April 12, 2018

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