Messaging Protocol Released for Public Comment
this month an important document was released for public comment
which is destined to play a key role in the development of the
next-generation Emergency Alert System (EAS). This document,
and the need for it in the first place, arise from development
of the Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMAs)
Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) which is ...the
nation's next-generation infrastructure of alert and warning
networks that will expand upon the traditional audio-only radio
and television EAS by providing one message over more media
to more people before, during, and after a disaster.
document just released is entitled the Common Alerting
Protocol Version 1.1 - USA Integrated Public Alert and Warning
System Profile Version 1.0 but is typically referred to
as the CAP v1.1 IPAWS Profile. Briefly, the protocol
described in this document defines the standard ways in which
emergency alert information is to be exchanged under IPAWS between
the government and emergency alert providers such as radio and
is expected to form the basis for a new generation of EAS broadcast
equipment. The FCC, in its Second Report and Order adopted in
July 2007 on what is commonly called next generation EAS,
established the requirement that EAS participants (e.g., broadcasters)
must accept messages using a common messaging protocol based
on the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) v1.1 standard, no later
than 180 days after FEMA publicly publishes its adoption of
such a standard. A copy of the Second Report and Order is on
the FCCs web page at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-109A1.pdf.
for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS),
a not-for-profit consortium that ...drives the development,
convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information
society, was charged with developing this document by
FEMA. Within OASIS, this work was done by the Emergency Management
Technical Committee (TC), also responsible for standardization
of the original version of CAP upon which the current document
is based. The March 3, 2009 release for comment by OASIS of
the CAP v1.1 IPAWS Profile is part of the OASIS standards adoption
process; once this process is completed, it is expected that
FEMA will at that time identify this document as the standard
which will initiate the 180 day adoption period for broadcasters
established by the FCC.
to the introduction, this Profile was developed primarily by
integrating requirements related to three federal warning-delivery
- the broadcast
EAS as recommended by the EAS-CAP Industry Working Group;
- the NOAA
Non-Weather Emergency Message (NWEM) "HazCollect"
program for weather radio and other delivery systems as derived
from technical documentation; and,
- the Commercial
Mobile Alert System (CMAS) for cellular telephones as described
in the recommendations of the Commercial Mobile Service Alert
Advisory Committee (CMSAAC).
considerable debate among broadcasters and others in the emergency
alerting community about exactly how this new standard, and
new equipment which conforms to it, will actually be deployed.
Some broadcasters have expressed concern that the 180 day timeline
established by the FCC for deployment of CAP-based EAS will
be difficult or impossible to achieve, in part because the governments
equipment approval process has yet to be defined, and it is
unclear when the equipment necessary to meet the timeline requirement
will be available.
resources for those interested in learning more about EAS and
the IPAWS program are available on the Internet:
the Society of Broadcast Engineers has a very complete and
detailed analysis of the current state of the evolution of
EAS on their web page at www.sbe.org/gov_eas.php.
Of particular interest is a white paper entitled The
EAS CAP Roadmap - A Strategy for Implementing the Common Alerting
Protocol for a Next Generation Emergency Alert System,
an effort of the EAS CAP Roadmap Coordinating Committee (at
announcement from OASIS on the release of the CAP v1.1 IPAWS
Profile is available on the OASIS web page at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200903/msg00001.html.
Comments must be submitted to OASIS by May 2, 2009. Instruction
on submitting comments may be obtained by selecting the Send
A Comment button at the top of the OASIS Emergency Management
TCs web page at www.oasis-open.org/committees/emergency/.
26, 2009 Radio TechCheck is also available in
an Adobe Acrobat file.
here to read the Adobe Acrobat version of Radio TechCheck