TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: EAS (was Reverse 911)

EAS (was Reverse 911)

Neal McLain (
Thu, 15 Mar 2007 22:20:12 -0600

PAT wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Around here, the cable company runs a
> ticker strip message for missing children...

Those are Emergency Alert System (EAS) notices. FCC requires every CATV
serving over 1000 subs to carry EAS notices, and to keep a record of all
such notices.

The EAS includes numerous "event codes": amber alert, blizzard, civil
emergency, earthquake, fire, flood, gas leak, nuclear plant warning,
railroad emergency, school closing emergency, tornado, tsunami, 911
telephone outage, among others.

The Kansas EAS Plan is at Kansas EAS
codes are listed in Annex G.

EAS notices can come from state or local sources, or even from the
President of the United States.

> Actually, the city of Independence has that built into
> the cableco franchise agreement: a channel for the high
> school and college's use (channel 22); a channel for the
> city itself (channel 14): and an 'all-purpose' general
> channel for anyone to use (channel 10)...

These channels are called, respectively, Educational, Government, and
Public Access Channels. Collectively, they're usually specified in
the following order: Public, Educational, and Government; hence, the
abbreviation "PEG channels."

> The city insisted that these channels all be in the 'free, basic'
> part of the spectrum so that everyone would be able to listen to
> them with or without payment for the premium channels (which they
> refer to as 'basic extended' (channels 25 and upward)...

That term is consistent with common CATV industry practice:

- "Basic" identifies the single tier of channels that must
be available to all subscribers.

- "Premium" means any channel offered at a per-channel
charge (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and The Movie Channel);
at a per-program charge (PPV); or as part of a group of
two or more channels offered as a package under a common
brand name (Encore; Starz).

- "Extended basic" means any multichannel tier other than
basic or premium.

- "Fat Basic" means the basic tier if the CATV system
doesn't carry any extended basic tiers.

Under FCC rules, the basic tier includes:

- All broadcast stations for which carriage is required
pursuant to the must-carry rules or to a retransmission-
consent agreement.

- PEG channels if required by the Local Franchising

- Any additional channels that the cable operator carries

Neal McLain

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