The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource


The real problem with EAS is not the latency or the audio quality or any other internal problem.

It is the audience – or lack thereof.

The public (the audience) neither knows nor cares what EAS is or what it does – or is supposed to do.

Mr. EAS guru: leave your office or den of preparedness and go out into the real world: a bar, a county fair, a church meeting, gather up a few non-broadcasters, and ask them what they think EAS is and does.

You will get mostly blank stares.

People are not sitting next to their entertainment radios alertly waiting for OFFICIAL NEWS AND INFORMATION. I just checked with two people here at my local public library and they didn’t know what EAS is and they’re not rushing out to buy radios.

Do you get “push” notices on your cell? Betcha do. And even if cell towers are less reliable than broadcasting (pretty risky speculation) there are lots more of them and whatever kind of hell breaks out more cell towers are likely to survive and keep working than broadcast towers just based on the population statistics.

Any system – no matter how perfect and reliable (which EAS is demonstrably not very) is of little value if people do not use it.

Maybe they should (coulda, shoulda, woulda) but that’s not the point.

Without a MASSIVE program of advertising, education, and politicking you’re not going to get the majority of the public’s attention or compliance. And that’ll cost a bunch of money. Better to spend that money, if at all, on systems already in place that people are moving to rather than away from.

5G is here now.

Also, in a free society, folx are free to be as uninformed as they wish. They may bitch and moan at the consequences of such behavior and that’s part of the freedom. The First Amendment also guarantees your right not to say anything and not to listen either.

One final point: When EAS was still a gleam in the eyes of its procreators, one of those fellows – whose office was next to mine at the time – avowed that in addition to all of the wonderful features the EAS boxes for broadcasters would have that there would be (indeed they were under active development at the time) radios for the consumer which would turn themselves on when an EAS alert was received. Like a weather radio.

In the 20+ years since I have yet to see such a consumer product. (see paragraph 7 above) Its actually kind of hard to find a stand-alone radio for sale outside of a hamfest anymore.

But my cell fone does. And I carry my cell with me.

Perception is reality. And everybody’s perspective is different. Both fire extinguishers and condoms are ineffective if improperly used or not used at all.

Same for EAS.

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James Walker