Digital EAS Completes Second Phase Of Testing
July 14, 2006 at 7:06 AM (PT)
The new Digital Emergency Alert System has moved forward in the test phase with the use of WETA (TV)/WASHINGTON's digital TV signal to send alerts to a TV set and satellite receiver. The test on WEDNESDAY was the completion of the second phase of testing the system, which was first launched in OCTOBER 2004 with a six-month trial in WASHINGTON; the new test allows video as well as text and audio alerts.
The NEW YORK TIMES reports that 24 PBS affiliates are presently set up to send the digital EAS signal but all are expected to have the capability by the end of next year; the signal can already be sent over satellite to cell phone companies but the problem of sending simultaneous text messages to all cell phone subscribers without overloading the system has not yet been overcome. The new system, which is expected to cost about $5.5 million to test and deploy and $1 million a year to maintain, will include new receivers to be provided to most large-city radio and TV stations by next year.