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CEA Encourages The FCC To Expand The Use Of NOAA Weather Radio


Also Commends Independent Panel for Its Work and Important Recommendations

Arlington, Virginia, 8/9/2006, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should expand the distribution of non-weather emergency messages using the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Radio (NWR), said the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®) in comments recently filed with the FCC. CEA’s comments came in response to the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) reviewing the impact of Hurricane Katrina on communications networks.

Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need for a reliable emergency communications system. In it’s filing, CEA restated its belief that it is important for the Commission to consider the full array of emergency alerts. NOAA Weather Radio has developed into an effective collection and distribution system estimated to originate more than 96 percent of all emergency alerts. To that end, the NWR delivery system today would be more appropriately named “all-hazards radio” than “weather radio.” EAS has evolved into a voluntary system in which broadcasters exercise discretion over which alerts to transmit, and NWR is a critical component providing broadcasters almost immediate access to the emergency alerts. Closer integration of EAS and NWR would serve to improve public awareness of these facilities and quicken the dissemination of critical emergency information, said CEA.

CEA’s Public Alert Technology Alliance (PATA) is one example of the industry’s effort to bring product manufacturers and government representatives together in a voluntary cooperative endeavor. With collaboration from NOAA, PATA has adopted voluntary uniform requirements for consumer receivers that display the Public Alert logo and trigger alerts by decoding the entire digital data string transmitted over NWR broadcasts. The Public Alert-certified devices also provide automatic translation for all alerts into English, Spanish and Canadian French and alert technology for the hearing impaired.

CEA also urged the Commission to avoid any mandatory standards on reception equipment. “Such a change would disserve the public interest,” stated CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “In the fast-paced world of technology, only marketplace forces have the agility needed for manufacturers to adjust in a timely fashion to consumer needs and technological improvements.”

CEA commends the Independent Panel for its work and important recommendations.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,100 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $125 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.


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