Stations should budget for an EAS unit upgrade this year

In the News

Wisconsin EAS Participants,

Broadcasters should be budgeting money for an EAS unit upgrade in 2023.

The FCC has mandated what it calls a “CAP Prioritization” feature to be installed into all EAS units by Dec. 12, 2023. This is where upon receiving a Legacy EAS message the EAS unit is to poll IPAWS for a duplicate CAP message and if found then the CAP message is to be broadcast in place of the initial Legacy EAS message.

In a recent webinar sponsored by the Alabama Broadcasters Association, representatives from Digital Alert Systems (DASDEC), Sage Alerting Systems (ENDEC), and Gorman-Redlich all stated that there would be a cost to upgrade their EAS units to comply with this looming new FCC rule. It has come to light that, in particular, owners of older versions of the DASDEC and Monroe One-Net EAS units may need to trade in their current EAS units for a newer model in order to complete the upgrade. Trilithic, now owned by Viavi Solutions, did not have a representative on the ABA webinar, but one would presume theirs will be a paid upgrade as well.

Since some of these upgrades could involve significant time and expense, all EAS participants are hereby encouraged to reach out to their EAS Unit manufacturer to determine the exact cost of this required EAS unit upgrade for their specific EAS unit (you will likely need to give the unit’s serial number).

Note that you will be obligated to pay for this upgrade in order for your EAS unit to remain compliant with FCC EAS rules. It is not an option. Any FCC Inspector noting that you are running older software will immediately know that you are in violation of FCC EAS rules after Dec. 12, 2023.

Gary Timm, Broadcast Chair
Wisconsin EAS Committee (FCC SECC)