(New procedures require all filers to register in the FCC’s updated CORES system)

On June 26, 2017, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) of the Federal Communications Commission released instructions as to how Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants must register for access to the 2017 EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).  The PSHSB also stated in its Public Notice that it will release a further notice in July announcing the opening of the 2017 ETRS, and the date by which EAS Participants must file their EAS reporting data.

The Commission launched the ETRS in 2016 as an improved and mandatory version of the voluntary electronic test reporting system implemented by the FCC in 2011 for the first nationwide EAS test.  The EAS is a nationwide emergency communications system allowing the President of the United States to provide immediate information to general public during events of national emergency.  The ETRS was used successfully for the second national EAS test conducted last fall.  However, based on experience with that test, the FCC has mandated that filers using the 2017 ETRS must use a single account for filing their EAS reporting data based on multiple FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs).

Pursuant to Section 11.2(d) of the Commission’s Rules, EAS Participants include:  analog radio and television stations, and wired and wireless cable television systems, DBS, DTV, SDARS, digital cable and DAB, and wireline video systems.  EAS Participants that are silent pursuant to a grant of Special Temporary Authority are also required to file in the ETRS.  In order to file in the 2017 ETRS, EAS Participants must ensure that they create an FCC Username within the FCC’s updated Commission Registration System (CORES), and associate all FRNs assigned to the participant and its reporting subsidiaries to its FCC Username.

As the PSHSB will be announcing the date of the upcoming 2017 ETRS later this month, all EAS Participants should register in CORES as soon as possible in order to ensure that they will be able to complete and file their required 2017 ETRS filings. While television station licensees have had to use the new CORES procedures for incentive auction-related filings, we recommend that other filers who have not used the system take some time to familiarize themselves with it in advance.

Should you have any questions regarding your filing responsibilities for the 2017 ETRS, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Kirkpatrick at kirkpatrick@fhhlaw.com or Keenan Adamchak at adamchak@fhhlaw.com.