Glitches hit national test of Emergency Alert System

Tools

Cable and satellite subscribers nationwide reported glitches during the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System Wednesday. Examples of some hiccups ranged from DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) subscribers hearing a Lady Gaga song instead of the emergency alert tone, while Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) subscribers in Northern Virginia said they saw the feed for home-shopping channel QVC on their screens during the two-minute test, which began at 2 p.m. ET.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) said it is gathering feedback from its member cable operators on how their systems performed during the test, and that it will working with FEMA and the FCC in the coming weeks to identify "specific cable industry gaps" and how they can be addressed.

"We do know that in many places, the Emergency Alert Notification flowed through to viewers without a hitch. However, we also know that in some places, it did not," NCTA said in a prepared statement.

NCTA said it remains committed to implementing a next-generation alert system that the FCC wants all EAS participants to deploy by June 2012.

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