National EAS Test

Posted on September 30th, 2016 by

The FCC’s pre-planned National EAS test took place as advertised on September 28, 2016. A day or so before the test, the FCC emailed participants recommending that EAS Form Two – due on the same day of the test – be filed in certain time windows based on the time zone where the station was located. This hinted to us that the ETRS system might not be able to handle the overload of all broadcast stations filing the form.

Well, it turns out that the ETRS performed pretty well despite the likely overload of filers. It did pause or slow down periodically, but we’ll give it an A-minus. Good for the FCC and FEMA – they seem to have avoided a debacle. In fact, early reports say that the national test was successful.

With the filing of EAS Form Two now complete, it would be easy to breathe a sigh of relief that it’s all over. Not so fast. There is yet another form to file (ok, we could see your grimace from here). Since it is the third form broadcasters have to file for this national test, the FCC (or FEMA) has conveniently designated it as EAS Form Three. In this form the FCC wants to know the precise times you received and transmitted tests, along with other details (such as problems you encountered, translators that also carried the test, etc.).

To file EAS Form Three, you must log in to the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) using the same access codes that were required for Forms One and Two. The deadline to file EAS Form Three is November 14, 2016. If you’ve thrown up your hands in disgust at this point, or if you encountered a problem during the test and would prefer to have legal counsel assist in preparing the language describing the issue, we are available to assist.