The GWES EAS Relay Network (GWES ERN) is a sophisticated group of internet radio stations with the power to relay EAS alerts for almost anywhere in the country. You may ask yourself “How do they pull that off?”
History of the Network
First, we should look back to the beginnings. GWES operated what was known as the “GWES Weather Network Radio.” Unfortunately, GWES WNR was short lived, due to lack of activity. This led to the shutdown of GWES WNR.
In 2019, GWES decided to reboot the aging system, with the relay network that we know today. Originally, ERN consisted of only a few participants. This new system, integrated into the main GWES server, provided EAS alerts of the now-retired ICON changes.
How it Runs
Infrastructure is important for the daily operations of the network. In ERN, infrastructure is operated in cloud computing, as well as near Seattle, Washington. This allows for extreme flexibility, as well as a reliable platform for mission-critical resources.
The Icecast server is the main heartbeat that allows the participants to connect together. Icecast, an open source media streaming server used globally for internet radio, along with other streams. Each participant can stream to this server, and recieve audio from other participants.
The main stations include CAP, LB, and ACRN. These stations monitor most of the network, and operate as primary relay stations for different portions of the country. Network participants are required to monitor the station that they are assigned to. Other monitors are available, at the participants discretion.
ERN currently has close to 20 EAS enthusiasts as participants, making choices difficult on who to monitor. The “Hub-and-Spoke” design of the network allows for extreme flexibility, as well as less regulation.
Using this flexibility, participants monitor others using their hardware, or sometimes software, ENDECs. Software participants have the ability to monitor more, due to that increased monitor availability. Our software participants are ERNs driving force, monitors most streaming stations in the United States, increasing our coverage. Then, alerts are received by other participants, and relayed.
The GWES ERN Podcast
In 2022, ERN released a new podcast for enthusiasts. Network participants cover the latest news, as well as events. Included in some Season 2 episodes, you can learn more about how some participants operate their stations, as well as to how you can do it yourself at home!
You can listen to the podcast on this website by clicking here.