FCC Seeks Informal Comments on CAP

March 26, 2010

Washington - Mar 25, 2010 - The Federal Communication Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau seeks informal comment regarding revisions to the FCC Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System pending adoption of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (EB Docket No. 04-296)

In conjunction with appropriate alert transmission architectures, CAP will allow FEMA, the National Weather Service (NWS), a state governor or any other authorized initiator of a public alert and warning to automatically format and geo-target a particular alert simultaneously to the public over multiple media platforms such as television, radio, cable, cell phones and electronic highway signs. CAP will also allow an alert initiator to send alerts specifically formatted for people with disabilities and for non-English speakers.

The FCC, in its Emergency Alert System (EAS) Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Report and Order), mandated that all EAS Participants must accept CAP-based EAS alerts 180 days after the date on which FEMA publishes the applicable technical standards for its adoption of CAP as the basis for FEMA-generated alerts. On July 30, 2008, FEMA announced its intention to adopt a version of CAP, and more recently announced that this adoption may occur as early as the third quarter of 2010. Such action would trigger the Commission's 180 day requirement.

To prepare for expected rule changes, the FCC seeks comments on possible Part 11 rule changes required to accommodate CAP, as well as information as to the extent to which states already are adopting CAP-based systems for distribution of state and local EAS alerts.

Comment date is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply comment date is 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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