FCC Extends EAS Reply Comment Date

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Washington - Feb 24, 2010 - On Jan. 12, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a second further notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to amend the Commission's Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System to provide for national testing of the EAS and collection of data from such tests. The second FNPRM seeks comment on whether the proposed rules would effectively ensure accurate EAS testing at the national level. The second FNPRM set deadlines for filing comments and reply comments at 30 and 60 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register, which occurred on Jan. 29, 2010. Accordingly, the deadline for filing comments was set at March 1, 2010, and the deadline for filing reply comments was set at March 30, 2010.

On Feb. 18, 2010, the National Association of Broadcasters filed a motion for extension of time seeking a 14-day extension of the deadlines to submit Comments and Reply Comments. The NAB indicated that such an extension is warranted because it will enable the NAB to help develop a more robust record in response to the second FNPRM, particularly concerning the complex technical challenges and issues relevant to nationwide testing of the EAS. The NAB also noted that the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations (NASBA) and the NAB will hold its annual EAS National Summit on Feb. 28 to March 1, 2010. This conference will bring together representatives of the Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Capitol Hill and the broadcasting industry to discuss EAS, public warning and reliability, and emergency preparedness issues generally. The NAB states that broadcasters intend to use this opportunity to address specifically the proposed nationwide testing of EAS and other matters raised in the second FNPRM.

The FCC notes that it does not routinely grant time extensions, but they can be warranted when, among other things, the additional time will serve the public interest. The FCC has extended the comment deadline to March 15, 2010, and the reply comment deadline to April 13, 2010.

Revised Comment Date: March 15, 2010
Revised Reply Comment Date: April 13, 2010
EB Docket No. 04-296

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