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Subject: Public Warning in FCC Proposed Rule Making 04-296

Please encourage people involved in public warning to comment on a proposed rule-making by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission:

  Emergency Alert System (EAS) NPRM - Docket 04-296
  Comment on whether EAS can be improved to be a more effective mechanism for warning the American public of an emergency 

This proposed rule-making states: "We also seek additional comment on what actions the Commission, along with our Federal, State and industry partners, should take to help expedite the development of a robust, state-of-the-art, digitally-based public alert and warning system." (see also http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-262016A1.doc )

The deadline seems to be January 5. An upload facility for filing comments is at http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/ecfs/Upload/ (linked from http://www.fcc.gov )

Comments are solicited on the document available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-191A1.doc 

This document contains, for example, the following statements:

  67. Common protocols.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) argues that emergency alerts should flow rapidly and simultaneously through all available information conduits to first responders and the public.[1]  Should such a ubiquitous distribution be a goal of a digitally-based alert system?  Most commenters agree that in order for a digitally-based alert and warning system to be distributed simultaneously over multiple platforms, a common messaging protocol must be adopted.[2]  We seek comment on this assertion.  SWN Communications, Inc. contends that the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), endorsed by the PPW and many public and private organizations responsible for alerts, offers the most practical means of quickly creating an effective interface between the emergency manager and multiple emergency alert and notification systems to significantly improve national alert and warning capability.[3]  Should CAP be adopted as the common messaging protocol for a
ny future digitally-based alert system?  Should we require the adoption of CAP for EAS alerts?  If CAP were to be adopted, would it allow simultaneous distribution to radio, television, and wireless media such as mobile telephones and PDAs?  How would CAP be used to ensure uniformity of alerts across such multiple platforms?  For example, if the White House were to issue a national message how would CAP accommodate an audio message with a shorter, text-based message appropriate for a PDA screen?

[1] National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Comments at 11.

[2] LogicaCMG plc (LogicaCMG) Comments at 15; NAB/MSTV Comments at 15-16; National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Comments at 3-4; RERC Comments at 9; SWN Communications, Inc. (SWN) Comments at 2; Timm Comments at 7; Trilithic, Inc. (Trilithic) Comments at 4; Cellular Emergency Alert Systems Association (CEASA) Reply Comments at 3-4.

[3] SWN Comments at 2.

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