In order for the FCC to more readily receive feedback on the effectiveness of its nationwide EAS tests, it is now requiring all EAS participants to register in their new “EAS Test Reporting System” (or “ETRS”) by August 26, 2016. This is being required in anticipation of the FCC’s next Nationwide test (“NPT”), which will be held on September 28.
To do this, all EAS participants must first access the FCC’s ETRS site at https://www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system and obtain ETRS account credentials. This webpage has a link to the ETRA Registration Page – which is where a participant will have to provide the licensed entity’s FCC legal name. (Note that you must be extremely careful to get the licensee name right throughout all of the on-line paperwork.) You will also be asked to provide an address, phone number, the entity FRN, and the FRN password. When that is successfully accomplished, an e-mail is generated that will supply the ETRS account credentials, along with a link to the ETRS log-in page.
After logging in, instructions will be found for completing Form One. Take your time, and read the directions carefully. For instance, any EAS participant “owned by a larger entity should accurately enter the owning entity’s legal name in the Owner of EAS Participant field in Form One”. Participants with multiple facilities may appoint a “coordinator” who would be able to access and revise data for all filers using the same FRN. So care must be taken to enter in the proper entity name. Also note that apparently “cookies” are spawned in this process, so if you are doing this for more than one entity, you have to ensure that you are fully logged out before trying to handle the paperwork for a different entity.
When you are filling out Form One, there are several potential stumbling points:
– The daytime transmitter site is the designated transmitter location (for AM stations)
– The “Geographic Zone” is the Operational Area specified in your state EAS plan. (There is a dropdown menu choice or you can find your information from a link the FCC provides)
– The transmitter coordinates need to be in “decimal form”, and specified in NAD-83 datum, not the NAD-27 coordinates you find on your license or in the CDBS record
– You need to supply information on the kind of EAS device you have and the software version; hopefully the system is IPAWS CAP compliant
There are two other forms you will eventually encounter: “Form Two” and “Form Three”. Form Two must be completed within 24 hours of a test. Form Three is for the “receipt of EAS message”.
The FCC has reportedly assigned a person to assist in form preparation – they can be reached at ETRS@fcc.gov .