FCC Regulations

The Federal Communications Rules and Regulations now require that all broadcast stations participate in the Emergency Alert System by:

  • Monitoring two sources,
  • Sending and receiving at least one test or alert each week,
  • Retransmitting the required monthly test within 60 minutes of receipt,
  • Immediately transmit any national level alerts, and
  • Maintain a records of all tests and alerts received.

Cable and Wireless Cable System Participation

By December 31, 1998, cable systems that serve more than 10,000 subscribers will have to participate in EAS the same way that broadcasters do now. This means all channels in the cable system will have their audio and video interrupted for EAS messages.

Cable systems that service more than 5,000 but fewer than 10,000 subscribers shall install EAS equipment and provide EAS audio and video messages on all channels by October 1, 2002.

Systems that serve fewer than 5,000 subscribers shall either provide National level EAS messages on all programmed channels (including the required EAS test messages), or install EAS equipment and provide a video interrupt and audio alert message on all programmed channels and EAS audio and video messages on at least one programmed channel by October 1, 2002.

Wireless cable systems shall participate in EAS on the same basis as wired systems. Wireless operators that serve 5,000 or more subscribers per fixed station transmission site or headend shall install EAS equipment and provide EAS audio and video messages on all channels by October 1, 2002. Wireless operators who serve less than 5,000 subscribers are subject to the same requirements as wired systems serving less than 5,000 subscribers.

The complete  EAS Rules are in 47 CFR Part 11 of the FCC’s Rules. Reference to EAS is also made in the broadcast and cable sections of the Commission’s Rules.Inspections: The Denver FCC office  inspects broadcast stations in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and South Dakota for compliance to EAS Rules. After the December 31, 1998, cable deadline, random inspections will be conducted at cable systems.  The following document will help you prepare for an inspection and assist you in determining your level of compliance.

EAS Handbook-PDF Download (updated 2021)