2017 National EAS Test with New Requirements
Last fall CCB spent
hundreds of hours helping more than 70 broadcasters throughout the
United States comply with the
FCC's then-new EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). A few LPFM
operators naively assumed that if they struggled through the 2016 Test
they that would never be bothered with another National Test.
Fortunately most broadcasters realized that the question was not "if"
After using the ETRS just
once in September 2016, FEMA and the FCC are changing things again . . .
and making the process more complex.
All broadcasters must register in the
system and then link that to their updated ETRS. While this
process might appear simple to some, the new procedure has not be fully
documented or Beta tested and detailed instructions are incomplete. The
user names and passwords from the 2016 filing are no longer valid.
has already made some suggestions which the FCC plans to implement.
Don't waste your time trying to re-invent the wheel. Let CCB help
you now, whether we helped you last year or not, we are accepting new
clients. The FCC set an August 28 deadline for the new ETRS Form 1
but at the last minute extended it. CCB is accepting new clients
who need professional assistance.
additional information or fees phone John Broomall at 770
ETRS is the online system in which EAS
Participants must file identifying information, day-of-test data, and
post-test data related to a nationwide test. ETRS provides several new
features that ease the data-entry burden on EAS Participants, encourage
timely filings, and minimize input errors.
broadcasters, including LPFM, must receive and re-transmit weekly,
monthly, and National Tests, keep a written record, and have a
personalized copy of the new 2017 EAS handbook. To avoid possible
fines if an FCC Inspector shows up, be prepared to hand him or her a
file with your EAS records. Be certain that your contact
information is current, both your contact number for National Test
purposes and if the FCC needs to reach your station when no operator is
on duty, that information is needed as well. Being reachable is
mandatory whenever you are on the air which means 24/7 for most
Based on changes in EAS regulations last July, all EAS units had to be
updated or replaced. Many Low Power broadcasters have older EAS
units which were barely legal when they were purchased but were obsolete
when the rules changed. For example a Sage Gray is now worthless
while updates to the Sage Blue are free.
Last September the FCC
expected broadcasters to answer "Yes" on Form Two, meaning the National
Test was successfully received and re-transmitted, submitting the
details on Form Three. If a station had a compliant EAS, properly
installed, with a knowledgeable operator, answering all the questions
should have been easy.
CCB advised clients having
problems with the Test to contact their local engineer and/or the Tech
Support for the make equipment they use, i.e. Digital Alert (Monroe
Electronics), Gorman-Redlich, Sage, or Trilithic. Some problems
were caused "upstream" through no fault of the LPFM. Ideally, Form
Three should have included the reason why the test failed and the
solution. For example, "Test failed because station had an
obsolete Sage Gray. Solved problem by purchasing and installing a
Some LPFM operators honestly answered, "we did not receive or
re-transmit the Test" and indicated they did not know what the problem
was. They stated "we don't plan any further action unless we are
contacted by the FCC." If the test fails again this year, the
problem must be corrected. Failure to participate properly for two
years in a row could make the FCC very unhappy and result in a
substantial fine. Fines are never fine!
September 27 2:20 pm EDT National Test - Form One
updates/corrections and Form Two must be filed before midnight.
(Based on emergencies i.e. a hurricane, the Test could be delayed
a week to October 4.)
November 13 - Deadline for filing
detailed post-test data on Form Three.
or email CCB if you need any type assistance with your LPFM station.