In an interesting turn of events, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the joint filing request of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and REC Networks (REC), has delayed the implementation of the new Part 11 regulations regarding Emergency Alert System operations for a subset of broadcasters.

Both companies sent a joint letter to the FCC earlier this month.

The new Part 11 regulations implements wording changes for alerts involving national tests or emergencies, such as Emergency Action Notification (EAN) alerts or National Periodic Test (NPT) messages, as well as implement a CAP priority system for alerts that originate from iPAWS, favoring the CAP alerts instead of alerts being received from internal radios or monitor inputs.

As some may recall from the last edition of Jon’s Journal, SAGE Alerting Systems has been delayed multiple times regarding the Rev96 update, due to unexpected issues. As of the date writing this post, November 28th, there is no release date in sight. Furthermore, their website notes that broadcasters with contract engineers or stations with multiple boxes, it may take extra time to install the update, and some may not meet the December 12th deadline.

At the request of the NAB and REC, an order from the FCC pushes back December 12th deadline until March 11th, 2024, for broadcasters and TV operators of SAGE 3644 endecs. This order only applies to those with SAGE 3644 endecs, and other manufacturers still have the deadline of December 12th. The FCC argues that a “blanket waiver” will be unnecessary as the conditions for it do not exist, however, cites multiple reasons for granting parts of the request only for SAGE 3644 customers:

  1. Delayed release of the software
  2. Holiday complications (installation and engineer availability)
  3. Issues outside of EAS Participant’s control
  4. Accessibility of the boxes in remote areas
  5. Inability to service hundreds of boxes in such short time, especially for customers with many stations or locations of equipment
  6. Lack of service to these units due to high amounts of urgent requests

The order also notes that SAGE Alerting Systems is anticipating a release date in early December, near the deadline. This is also noted in a Radio World article here

You may read the FCC order here

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