The FCC today announced that it is extending the deadline for participants to comply with the new EAS CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) rules until June 30, 2012. The deadline had previously been set for just two weeks from now, September 30th; however, in light of the fact that the FCC had yet to finalize all of the new EAS CAP rules, it decided to extend the deadline until next June. Thus, according to today’s Order, available here, EAS participants will be required to be able to receive CAP-formatted EAS alerts no later than June 30, 2012. Such an extension had been widely supported by EAS participants and commenters in the current EAS CAP rule making proceeding. The FCC expects to adopt the CAP-based revisions to its Emergency Alert System rules in a subsequent order, and it expects those new rules to be out sufficiently in advance of the June 30, 2012 deadline in order to allow EAS participants ample time to come into compliance with those new rules.
In addition, the Commission’s Order urges EAS participants that have purchased or are considering purchasing any type of EAS equipment to verify with the manufacturer or vendor that the equipment fully complies with the FCC rules. As the FCC has yet to rule on many issues related to the use of intermediary devices — i.e., devices that connect in some fashion with previously certified EAS equipment to allow receipt of CAP-formatted alerts — including whether such intermediary equipment must be certified under the FCC’s rules or whether they fully satisfy the new CAP requirements, it is not clear whether such intermediary devices will ultimately satisfy all elements of the Commission’s new EAS CAP rules. So until the FCC issues its subsequent Report and Order addressing such issues, buyer beware. See our earlier postings here for more information about the new EAS CAP rules.