What Should You Know About Blue Alerts?

The deadline is now less than a year away for broadcasters
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The deadline is now less than a year away for broadcasters

WASHINGTON � The countdown toward implementation of Blue Alerts has begun.

EAS device manufacturers now have 12 months to make it possible for Blue Alerts � characterized by the three-character BLU code � to be delivered over the nation�s Emergency Alert System. It was in December that the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order that required EAS devices to have the capability to transmit the newly adopted Blue Alert code, which can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement.

Now, with a notice filed in the Federal Register, the deadline is set for Jan. 18, 2019. (The wireless industry has a bit longer � 18 months � to ensure that a wireless alert can be delivered over the nation�s Wireless Emergency Alert system.)

What do stations need to do to prepare? Radio World spoke to two manufacturers of EAS equipment � Monroe Electronics, maker of Digital Alert Systems EAS products, and Sage Alerting Systems � to ask their opinions on what�s ahead for the broadcast industry when it comes to Blue Alerts.

Read the Q&A here.

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Similar to AMBER Alerts, new alerts would allow agencies to deliver “actionable” information to the public when an officer is killed, injured, missing or if there is a threat to law enforcement