December 2017 - The FCC, in coordination with FEMA and the NWS, conducted a 2017 Nationwide EAS Test that included participating companies and providers ranging from television and radio broadcasters to cable and wireline video systems. The recently published docket detailing findings from 2017’s EAS test stated that “Overall, performance appears to have improved over what we observed in the 2016 nationwide EAS test.”
A similar number of participants were surveyed in 2017 (19,069) as compared to 2016’s EAS test (20,389). The system reportedly delivered the alerts successfully to 95.8% of participants, a slight improvement from 2016’s 95.4% mark. Participants retransmitted the test alert with a higher success rate (91.9%, up from 85.8%). Among participants that filed Form Three, in which complications and means of communication were recorded, there was roughly an 8% decrease in reported complications in receiving and retransmitting the alert. Other encouraging statistics include the 207 participants that retransmitted the IPAWS-generated Spanish alert version, a significant increase from the 75 retransmissions in the 2016 test. More data will be released by the Bureau as the findings are analyzed.
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau continues to review the 2017 nationwide EAS test data and will take further action to improve the EAS during 2018.