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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950's when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with the Association of Public Television Stations, is implementing a program that will disseminate national alert messages over digital broadcast airwaves, using satellite and public TV broadcast towers. This program is referred to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Legislation was passed at the end of the 109th Congress to assure funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle national alerts. The 111th Congress may pursue additional oversight to related programs that would continue to improve the nation's capability to provide alerts and information before, during, and after an emergency.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The convergence of wireless telecommunications technology and Internet protocols is fostering new generations of mobile technologies. This transformation has created new demands for advanced communications infrastructure and radio frequency spectrum capacity that can support high-speed, content-rich uses. This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fairness Doctorine: History and Constitutional Issues

Fairness Doctorine: History and Constitutional Issues

Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Description: The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) that required broadcast licensees to cover issues of public importance and to do so in a fair manner. In 1987, after a period of study, the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine. The debate in Congress regarding whether to reinstate the doctrine continues today. This report covers the history of such debates.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department