EAS Manufacturers Develop CAP Profile

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EAS Manufacturers Develop CAP Profile

Sep 25, 2008 4:17 PM

Sep 25, 2008 - The EAS-CAP Industry Group, a broad coalition of equipment, software and service providers to the Emergency Alert System, have released a draft profile for the effective use and translation of the open, non-proprietary Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for the next generation of broadcast EAS. The profile is a important step towards improving interoperability across agencies, jurisdictions, systems and vendors, helping to ensure that the public benefits from improved capabilities to communicate weather, civil, AMBER and other alerts via broadcast media.

The industry group will provide this profile as a recommendation to U.S. governmental agencies and industry associations on the use of CAP for EAS purposes, including the FCC, FEMA, National Weather Service and other organizations. Group members intend to rapidly implement the EAS-CAP profile within their own systems and equipment.

The EAS-CAP profile provides developers and manufacturers guidelines as to which elements in a CAP message are required for an EAS message, identifies how a mandatory alert from a state/territorial governor would be identified, describes basic authentication and security features, recommends accepted formats for audio messages, and other features.

The output of the group's work is publicly accessible on its website www.eascap.org, and the group will offer a mechanism for public comment on that site. The group plans to continue its work to solicit feedback and provide recommendations to EAS stakeholders.

The group was established in response to the July 2007 decision by the FCC to maintain EAS and have all U.S. EAS participants adopt an ability to receive messages using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) within 180 days after FEMA formally adopts CAP version 1.1 as a standard for EAS. FEMA's announcement on CAP adoption is expected in the first quarter of 2009.

The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, such as computers, wireless communications, alarms, and television radio and cable via broadcast EAS.

Group members supporting the EAS-CAP Profile include:
Digital Alert Systems
Hormann America
Ibiquity Digital
Monroe Electronics
My State USA
Sage Alerting Systems
Warning Systems