EAS and ETRS: What Broadcasters Need To Do By August 26th

Posted on July 29th, 2016 by

As we reported last month, the FCC is planning a new National EAS test in a few more weeks (we now know it will be September 28th), and in advance of that test, all broadcasters (except for TV and FM translators) must register in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

Registering in ETRS is fairly straightforward, but you will need the licensee FRN and password to do so. That filing will automatically generate an email to the email address supplied in the registration. Your login and password are provided in that email, so if it doesn’t arrive, something went wrong. Once you have the login and password, you must submit EAS Form One – for each station — no later than August 26, 2016. That form auto-fills a station’s information (call sign, location, coordinates) once the station facility identification number is entered. After that, required information includes the station’s EAS designation, the stations that are monitored, make and model of EAS equipment used, software version used, and various other disclosures.

It helps to approach the process with a load of patience (or alternatively, with a punching bag nearby). The pull down menus are cumbersome. The little question marks that suggest they will give you an answer if you get befuddled are not helpful. And best of all, the system pauses and gives a “working” warning every now and again, after which the screen blinks and updates. It takes only a few seconds, but it is quite lovely, even reassuring in a quirky, government-knows-best sort of way. When you’re done and certify that only the truth has been provided in the form, you can submit the form, and the system will congratulate you (that’s nice).

There’s a public notice about the process in case details are missing above. We’re not sure what will happen if a station misses the August 26, 2016 deadline, but would rather no one test the system to find out.