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REMINDER: EAS Test Reporting System Form One Due By Feb. 28

Broadcasters have until Feb. 28 to submit Form One into the online EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

TAB urges broadcasters not to wait until the last moment to submit a station’s Form One filing.

That’s because stations across the country have reported filing problems with several of the FCC’s electronic filing systems.

The issues have been so bad that many of January and February’s required online filings have seen their deadlines extended to Feb. 28.

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not conduct a 2022 nationwide EAS test, the FCC’s rules, however, require EAS participants to annually review and update their identifying information for each station (e.g., transmitter location, EAS monitoring assignments, and make and model of EAS gear). 

“If nothing has changed from prior Form One filings, the Public Notice says that the system provides a way to populate the form with all the information from prior filings so that it does not need to be manually re-entered (although anecdotally we have heard that even minor changes, such as a call sign change, may be problematic),” said David Oxenford, an attorney with TAB Associate member law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer. 

The FCC and FEMA utilize ETRS to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure.

TAB’s FCC legal counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman advises that certain broadcasters are exempt from filing a Form One, including:

  • TV translator stations;
  • FM booster stations;
  • FM translator stations that entirely rebroadcast the programming of other local FM broadcast stations; and
  • Stations that operate as satellites or repeaters of a hub station (or common studio or control point if there is no hub station) and rebroadcast 100 percent of the programming of the hub station (or common studio or control point). Note that the hub station (or common studio or control point) must file a Form One.

For more guidance, contact your station’s FCC counsel.

FEMA has not yet scheduled a nationwide EAS test for 2023. 

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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