FCC Adopts EAS Rule Changes

Posted on October 20th, 2022 by

Earlier this month, the FCC adopted a Report & Order changing its EAS rules.  The modified rules direct EAS participants, including radio broadcasters, television broadcasters, and operators of satellite, cable TV, and wireline video services, to transmit certain messages in an IP-based format rather than the versions in the legacy EAS format, which usually convey less information.  In addition, the new rules require EAS participants to replace the technical jargon that now automatically appears in the text of certain messages, including EAS test announcements, with plain language that will be more easily understood by the public and provide more accurate information for individuals who cannot access the audio message.

Since most of these changes will be implemented through software changes, the effective date of the rule changes is still a year away, which means they likely won’t be effective for the next EAS National Test in 2023.  Most stations have been receiving and retransmitting the CAP-enabled messages as the primary anyway, but EAS equipment software changes will ensure that occurs.  Stations should be on the lookout for and be sure to download any EAS equipment software updates.