Emergency Alert Provisioning Specifications
|Publication Date:||1 April 2008|
The ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF) supports an Emergency Alert System (EAS) for IPTV. The solution addressed in this document broadens the delivery of EAS messages from a few linear channels to the complete IPTV experience, spanning the full range of activities from live and recorded TV viewing, through games, internet streaming and sourced content, and even including IPTV client menu activities. The goal is to deliver important emergency alerts to any person using the IPTV service, independent of activity.
EAS is a topic which is subject to regulation and is currently under consideration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)1. This ATIS Standard is in alignment with the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directives  regarding a requirement for entities required to participate in EAS, pursuant to FCC orders, to accept a message using a common EAS messaging protocol, Common Alerting Protocol v1.1 (CAP).2 This document is for trial use and is subject to further update pending future regulatory direction.
The term "EAS event" as used in this text shall refer to the Event Code of the EAS as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47: Telecommunications, Part 11--Emergency Alert System. Note that "an EAS event" is also called "an alert" or "an emergency alert" in this text and should be distinguished from the term "event" and the general purpose events mechanism used in other IIF specifications.
IPTV networks must be compliant with regulatory requirements for emergency alerts. In the USA, the Emergency Alert System regulatory requirements are described in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47: Telecommunication, Part 11--Emergency Alert System. These regulations address the carriage of emergency alerts issued by national, state, or local authorities.
In practice, this requires mechanisms to acquire and inject the appropriate content from authorized sources. The emergency alerts only achieve their purpose when they alert the public. In order to achieve this, the emergency alert information must be appropriately decoded and rendered in the consumer premises equipment.
1 The Canadian regulator, which is the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commissioner (CRTC) is also looking to regulate EAS and issued a public notice on the topic on February 28, 2007. This notice is entitled "Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC-2007-20" and is further described in Section 4 below. It should also be noted that the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is in the process of releasing a standard in 2008 on an Earthquake and Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) for the Japanese market, as well as a more general Public Warning System (PWS) standard in 2009, which is likely to build on the US experience.
2 As of October 9, 2007, the CAP technical standards and requirements are under development by FEMA. The FCC has ordered that no later than 180 days after FEMA publishes the CAP technical standards and requirements for such FEMA transmissions, all EAS participants, as defined in the FCC orders, must be able to receive CAP-formatted EAS alerts.