WASHINGTON, DC - The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has issued a special report to member companies that highlights cable systems’ responsibilities under the federal Emergency Alert System (EAS) law. NCTA distributed the materials in light of heightened domestic security concerns following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The report, which references the FCC’s “EAS Cable Handbook” and details EAS requirements by system size, advises cable systems that already have deployed EAS equipment to conduct required tests and to regularly check equipment. It also encourages small systems to accelerate installation of EAS equipment where possible.

"Cable systems have played a vital role in the dissemination of emergency information to their customers, particularly in severe weather and disaster-related emergencies," said NCTA President & CEO Robert Sachs. "It is now important for cable operators to ensure that their systems are fully prepared to provide EAS messages in the event the system is activated in a national, state, or local security emergency."

EAS is principally designed to provide the President of the United States with the resources to communicate immediately with the American public in the event of a national emergency. EAS compliance has become increasingly important in light of the FCC’s recent creation of a Homeland Security Policy Council. Cable operators are required to provide the Presidential EAS message. They also are encouraged to employ their EAS equipment to disseminate information in cases of state and local emergencies. Copies of the FCC’s EAS requirements are available from NCTA’s Legal Department, or you can click here to download the FCC's "Emergency Alert System 2001 Cable Handbook".

NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. NCTA represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

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