FCC ORDER: AMENDMENT OF PART 11 OF THE COMMISSION’S RULES REGARDING THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
Adopted: May 5, 2016
Released: May 5, 2016
Extended Comment Filing Deadline: June 8, 2016
Extended Reply Comment Filing Deadline: July 8, 2016
By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:
- On April 19, 2016, Monroe Electronics, Inc. (Monroe) filed a request for extension of time to respond to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the above-captioned proceeding. On April 29, 2016, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations (NASBA) also filed a motion for extension of time for comments and reply comments on the NPRM. Filings in support of these requests for extension of time have been made by the Broadcast Warning Working Group (BWWG) and the Washington State Emergency Communications Committee (Washington State SECC). For the reasons stated below, we grant parties an additional thirty (30) days to file comments and reply comments. The new dates, as indicated above, will be June 8, 2016 for comments and July 8, 2016 for reply comments.
- On January 29, 2016, the Commission released the NRPM. On March 24, 2016, a summary of the NPRM was published in the Federal Register, setting the dates for comments and reply comments as May 9, 2016 and June 7, 2016, respectively. Subsequently, Monroe and the other parties mentioned above filed their requests for extension of the comment and reply periods.
- In the NPRM, the Commission sought comment on proposals intended to strengthen the Emergency Alert System (EAS) by facilitating state and local involvement, supporting greater testing and awareness of the system, leveraging technological advances, and enhancing EAS security. Monroe asserts that the NPRM “presents truly important, fundamental, and very far reaching questions on the architecture and operations of the nation’s Emergency Alert System.” Monroe also notes that the comment period for the NPRM coincides with the period for comments in response to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau’s recent inquiry on earthquake-related emergency alerts. Accordingly, Monroe asserts that the Commission should extend the deadline for filing comments by 45 days “to allow industry additional time to adequately consider the many questions raised by the Commission, and present meaningful commentary and response.” NASBA states that the NPRM raises a large number of issues and questions that are of great importance to the effective functioning of the nation’s public alert and warning systems and that it will need an extension of time to prepare comments that adequately and accurately reflect the views of State Broadcasters Associations and their respective local broadcast members. NASBA asks the Commission for a 45-day extension of the comment period and a 30-day extension of the reply comment period.
It is the policy of the Commission that extensions of time are not routinely granted. Such extensions may, however, be warranted when, among other things, the additional time will serve the public interest. In the instant proceeding, we acknowledge that a cross section of affected stakeholders (i.e., Monroe, an EAS equipment manufacturer, NASBA and the BWWG, broadcaster associations, and the Washington State SECC, a volunteer public safety association), agree that providing additional time for interested parties to file comments would be beneficial to the development of a thorough and complete record. In particular we note Monroe’s intent to address the wide variety of important and fundamental issues with respect to the architecture and operation of the EAS raised by the NPRM, and recognize that NASBA will need time to gather input from its members to address the breadth and complexity of the issues that are raised in the NPRM. That being said, we also note that the NPRM has been available for
- review since January, and that we must honor our commitment to resolving the issues raised in the NPRM in a timely manner. Thus, we do not believe that a 45-day extension is necessary to give interested parties a full opportunity to submit their views. Rather, we believe that granting a 30-day extension of time for parties to file comments and replies strikes a balance that serves the public interest. Accordingly, we extend the comment deadline to June 8, 2016, and the reply comment deadline to July 8, 2016.
I. Ordering clause
- Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), and Sections 0.191, 0.392, and 1.46 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392, and 1.46, that the Request for Extension to the Filing Deadline filed by Monroe and the Motion for Extension of Deadlines filed by NASBA are GRANTED to the EXTENT SET FORTH HEREIN, and that the comment deadline in this proceeding is extended to June 8, 2016, and the reply comment deadline is extended to July 8, 2016.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David Grey Simpson
Rear Admiral (ret.) USN
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau