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

Re: EAS (was Reverse 911)

Rick Merrill (
Sat, 17 Mar 2007 10:44:03 -0400

Neal McLain wrote:

> 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
> Authority.

> - Any additional channels that the cable operator carries
> voluntarily.


> Neal McLain

Our MA cablecast is also (by law) plugged into the statewide Emergency
Announcement System (EAS is a digital upgrade to the old Emergency
Broadcasting System). The EAS random tests completely replace PEG
transmissions. The state's EAS coordinator says EAS is activated via
state police. EAS sends a 1.5 min. Audio message every 30 min. with a
single frame of RED video that entirely overrides the cablecast.

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