Oct 1, 2010

FEMA approves new emergency alert protocol; stations have 180 days to update

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday (Sept. 30) adopted the new digital message format for the Common Alerting Protocol standard, reports the Broadcast Law blog. That triggers the 180-day countdown for stations to update Emergency Alert System equipment to ensure that it is able to handle the new protocol. The format adoption is the latest step toward the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which expands the longtime alert system used by radio and television to other devices, including mobile phones and PC's. One pubradio staffer told Current that stations may pay up to $2,000 to update each full-power transmitter — "a pain for small operators who are struggling," he added.

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