Last month we reported on the steps the Commission has taken toward conducting a national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Those steps include revisions to Section 11.61(a)(3) necessary to flesh out some of the details of the unprecedented national testing process. The revised rule was spelled out in Appendix B to the Third Report and Order (Third R&O). And now it’s been published in the Federal Register.

The notice as published indicates that the Third R&O is effective as of the date of publication, i.e., March 8, 2011. Presumably that means the revised Section 11.61(a)(3) is now effective, although the Third R&O didn’t include the usual paragraph specifically identifying the rule’s official effective date. But not to worry: any question about the precise meaning of the Federal Register publication is almost certainly of no practical consequence because the revised rule does not impose any immediate obligations on EAS participants (except, of course, to stand ready for the FCC’s eventual announcement of the national EAS test).