New FCC Requirements May Require EAS Upgrades at IBA Member Stations

EAS Rules Take Effect in July

New EAS rules and guidelines adopted by the Federal Communications Commission become effective on July 30.  Your station could be affected, if you are using outdated EAS equipment.

Unfortunately, many of the original 1996 vintage EAS Decoders/Encoders must now be replaced as they cannot be upgraded to accomplish both the modified response to receipt of an ‘NPT’ Event Code nor can they be upgraded to recognize the new ‘000000’ FIPS National Location Code.

Examples of vintage EAS Gear that cannot be upgraded include:

  • TFT’s EAS-911 

TFT EAS911 circa 1996

  • The Gray SAGE ENDEC 

Gray SAGE ENDEC circa 1996

  • Numerous other 1996-era boxes  

Stations that continue to operate with vintage EAS Gear will be in violation of the Rules starting in August, a risk that subjects the Licensee to a significant monetary assessment and notice of violation upon inspection.

The new EAS rules and guidelines from the FCC state that:

1.        All EAS Participants must have an operational EAS Decoder that recognizes thenew FCC EAS ‘FIPS’ #000000 (National Location Code).

2.        All EAS Participants must have an operational EAS Decoder that recognizes andacts immediately to ‘relay-to-air’ any EAS Activation received utilizing the EAS Event Code; ‘NPT’ (National Periodic Test) that is sent with a valid ‘FIPS’ Code.

3.        All EAS Participants must register with the FCC’s new ‘EAS Test Reporting System’ (ETRS) once the ‘ETRS’ server is operational. The FCC will release a Public Notice announcing the launch of ‘ETRS’ and that upcoming notice will specify a web/URL link that Indiana stations must use to complete their ‘ETRS’ registration.

4.        Once that notice has been released, Licensees will have 60 days to establish an account and enter each station’s data into the FCC’s ‘ETRS’.  Once ‘ETRS’ is operational, stations must log in and report all EAS Activations to the FCC’s Server using the log-in account registered for each station.

Later this fall, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scheduled aNational EAS Test for Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 at 2:20 PM EDT. The National EAS Test will originate using the new EAS FIPS Code 000000 (New National Location Code)and using the modified EAS Event Code ‘NPT’ (National Periodic Test).


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