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Broadcasters Prepare For Next-Generation Mobile Emergency Alert System

LAS VEGAS, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With momentum building for a new enhancement to the existing Emergency Alert System, the newly-standardized Mobile Emergency Alert System is being demonstrated to TV broadcasters next week at the annual NAB Show. On display in the NAB's Mobile TV Pavilion (booth N2638) are new applications, including geo-targeting of broadcast alerts and text-to-speech capabilities to help blind and low-vision consumers receive emergency alerts.

Mobile EAS (M-EAS) is a powerful new tool for emergency alerting capability that is moving from the laboratory to the marketplace, building on the successful conclusion of a nationwide development program spearheaded by PBS, LG Electronics, Harris Broadcast and NAB Labs. M-EAS is designed to leverage mobile digital TV broadcasting to deliver reliable, rich media alerts anywhere, anytime.

Mobile EAS is Robust, Dependable, Extensible

October's "Superstorm Sandy" in the Northeast demonstrated both the fragile limits of cell phone networks during times of emergency and the life-saving ability of TV broadcasting.  By harnessing the power of terrestrial broadcasting, and specifically mobile digital TV, the field-tested and proven new Mobile Emergency Alert System promises to significantly enhance the nation's emergency preparedness for the public and first responders alike. 

"Momentum is clearly building for M-EAS," said John Lawson, president of Convergence Services and M-EAS senior advisor.  "From hurricanes, windstorms and wildfires to tornadoes and earthquakes, natural and man-made disasters reveal time and again the need for a reliable, geo-targeted, information-rich alerting system for a mobile America."

Just in the last month, an open industry standard for Mobile EAS was adopted by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), M-EAS was referenced in an official advisory report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the first Mobile EAS broadcast station reached agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin transmitting FEMA alerts using Mobile EAS.

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