Users of Sage equipment: You now have another 90 days to meet that pending FCC deadline for updating your EAS firmware.
Users of EAS products from other vendors: The Dec. 12 deadline still applies to you.
The chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has issued an order in response to a request from REC Networks and the National Association of Broadcasters.
REC and NAB had asked for an extension of time for stations to comply with the requirement that participants in the Emergency Alert System, including broadcast stations, prioritize the Common Alerting Protocol-formatted version of an EAS message when they receive both a CAP and legacy version of the same alert. The deadline for EAS participants to comply is Dec. 12. For most participants, that means updating their equipment’s firmware.
But as we’ve reported, Sage Alerting Systems recently the commission and its users know that it would not be able to release the necessary firmware update in time.
The FCC noted that Sage serves a significant market share of the market, and it accepted the argument by REC and NAB that “hundreds, if not thousands, of EAS participants must update their firmware by the same deadline” and that multiple broadcasters requesting simultaneous updates to their systems would create a heavy volume of urgent requests, making it impracticable for all participants to comply.
So the FCC says that Sage users will now have until March 11, 2024.
“We deny, however, the extension request to the extent it requests a waiver on behalf of all EAS participants. … The extension request does not provide a basis for granting a blanket waiver to all EAS participants, nor do we believe it would serve the public interest to extend the deadline where circumstances do not warrant it.”