Sage/Ibiquity/Spectrarep Propose Advanced EAS for HD Radio - Any Takers?

June 17, 2009

An interesting press release flitted across the Net as Spectrarep, Ibiquity Digital and Sage Alerting Systems say they've joined forces to develop emergency alert services, safety and security notification, and other homeland security services using HD Radio technology.

The companies claim they intend to leverage Ibiquity's expertise in digital radio broadcasting, Spectrarep's technologies for emergency notification and public safety information, and Sage's experience with the Emergency Alert System in the broadcast industry through development of a combined technology platform that will be addressable to both the general public and specific parties, presumable via conditional access functionality. The plan envisions a range of devices with embedded HD Radio technology, including digital AM/FM radios, personal media devices and cell phones, personal computers, and other communication channels.

A bold vision indeed. Particularly as broadcasters wait for a new EAS standard set to be implemented by the U.S. Office of Homeland Security. And wait...and wait.

Such a venture begs a question, however: If the current EAS system has taken this long to receive the first significant revamp since its inception 15 years ago, how long might it take to build standards, practices and support for an advanced system that rides on a proprietary digital signal?

Sometimes it's better not to ask.

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