(From FEMA) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on October 3, 2018. The WEA portion of the test commences at 11:18 p.m. PDT, and the EAS portion follows at 11:20 p.m. PDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. The test was delayed from September 20 due to Hurricane Florence emergency activity.
The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless carriers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in September 2011, 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.
The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”
Digital Alert Systems and Monroe Electronics announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the IPAWS system. The companies have released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the One-Net™ and DASDEC™ series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders to replace a certificate in the current certification chain that will expire on Sept. 24. One-Net and DASDEC users in the U.S. are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to assure that devices configured to require message authentication will continue to operate properly. T
“DASDEC and One-Net users are urged to take the simple step of updating their certificate files before Sept. 24 to allow continued authentication of IPAWS CAP alert messaging,” said Ed Czarnecki, senior director of strategy and government affairs for Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems. “This is the second such certificate replacement this year, so we are actively working with FEMA IPAWS to look at methods for automating this update process and hope to have such a process in place before the next certificate update occurs in 2019.”
Continue reading Replace Your Expiring DASDEC IPAWS Certificate
(By Chris Scherer, SBE Communications Director) The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2018 election for the national board of directors. Jim Leifer, CPBE, was re-elected as the society’s president. Leifer is senior manager of broadcast operations at American Tower Corporation, Andover, MA. Continue reading SBE National Re-elects Jim Leifer as President
The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has announced that a National EAS test will be sent on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. There is a difference between this test and the two previous tests. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. Immediately following the WEA nationwide end-to-end test, at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a live test of the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. The EAS message will be disseminated via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
Stations are encouraged to verify that their EAS units are communicating correctly with the IPAWS server. Review your station logs (which should be checked once each week by the chief operator) to ensure you are receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS. This RWT is fed every Monday at 11:00 a.m. local time. Contact your equipment representative for details on setting up your EAS decoder to properly receive and relay the National test.
EAS participants are reminded that they are required to register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) and must complete the filing of ETRS Form One on or before Aug. 27, 2018. Then on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Sept. 20, 2018, EAS participants must file the day-of-test information sought by ETRS Form Two on or before Nov. 5, 2018, EAS participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three.
Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission’s website at www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system. Instructional videos regarding registration and completion of the ETRS Forms are available on the ETRS page.
According to TV Technology magazine, satellite relay provider SES has offered to reimburse C-band dish owners for the cost of registering their earth stations with the FCC. The only catch is…you have to have procrastinated till at least July 28, 2018, to be eligible. Get more information by contacting FCCregistration@ses.com. The NAB encourages members to register all C-band earth station dishes by October 17, 2018 to ensure that they are eligible for protection going forward.
The reason the industry is asking broadcasters to register receive-only dishes is that the FCC is proposing to reassign C-band terrestrial receive frequencies to the telecom industry. If you maintain a receive antenna for radio or TV network services, this could present an interference problem. As users register, the FCC can get a better idea on how large the impact would be.
If you need assistance with your C-band dish registration, Signal Wiz in San Diego can file your application.