On December 30, 2021, the FCC released a report about the results of the August 11, 2021 Emergency Alert System (EAS) nationwide test. The test was designed to determine the capability of the EAS in the event that distribution of alerts via the Internet is not available. The report notes that the vast majority of broadcast, cable, and other participating services reported successful transmission and delivery of the alert.
With respect to accessibility issues, the report identified concerns received about adequate audio quality, appropriate crawl speed for readability, high contrast text and background colors, and coordination of alert crawls with closed captioning. The report outlined some steps the FCC has taken to improve the EAS, including its December 2021 launch of a new proceeding to examine how to enhance the accessibility of EAS messages. More information will be announced when the comment due dates for the December EAS item are available.
Links to the Report:
For general information, visit https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-alert-system. For specific questions, please contact Maureen Bizhko, Attorney Advisor, Policy & Licensing Division, PSHSB, at 202-418-0011 or Maureen.Bizhko@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275 (videophone).