FCC Adopts New Multilingual EAS Requirements, But Not Quite What Petitioners Had In Mind
March 30, 2016 at 4:45 PM (PT)
The FCC has adopted a plan to require State Emergency Alert System plans to include a description of how participants will make EAS messages available in languages other than English. Participants will be required to furnish information to their State Emergency Communications Committees for compilation and delivery to the Commission.
The new requirements fall short of what a joint petition from the MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, and INDEPENDENT SPANISH BROADCASTERS had sought, including requiring all Presidential-level alerts to be in both English and Spanish, designating a Spanish-language station for all alerts, and establishing primary multilingual EAS stations in markets with a substantial percentage of the population speaking another language. The Commission said that implementing the petition's proposals, "even in modified form, would be difficult if not impossible to do within the existing EAS architecture"; it also noted that technological advances are widening the accessibility of multilingual alerts.