FCC Rule Making Suggesting Changes to EAS Rules has been Published in the Federal Register; Deadline for Comments is July 20

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The FCC’s recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making outlining changes to the FCC's Part 11 Rules governing the Emergency Alert System ("EAS") was published in the Federal Register today. Today's publication establishes the timing for submitting Comments in this proceeding. Comments will be due by July 20, with Reply Comments due by August 4th. By its Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, released on May 26, 2011 (“NPRM”), the Commission suggested changes to its EAS rules intended to integrate Common Alerting Protocol or "CAP" based alert messaging into the existing EAS while laying the foundation for transitioning to next generation alert mechanisms. The current "SAME" protocol ("Specific Area Message Encoding") will continue to be used. But CAP messaging, which allows for more information to be conveyed with each alert, would be overlaid on the system. CAP is an IP based system, with messages delivered to stations by the Internet, and then converted into SAME for broadcast by the participating stations.

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