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Low Power AM - Travelers Information Service (TIS)

FCC Amends Rules To Permit Weather Alerts to be Broadcast

There are 1000's of Low Power AM radio transmitters near highways, airports and parks throughout the country, each providing localized important information to the traveling public.

One of the most feared traffic nightmares is the mass evacuation of coastal residents to avoid a hurricane. Many locations have limited highway capacity to coastal areas. To increase roadway capacity, highway travel lanes can be 'reversed'. During an evacuation, the 2 eastbound, as well as the westbound lanes of I-64 will all be westbound.

Each Low Power AM station has an intentionally limited range of about 2-10 miles. The FCC rule change now permits a 'ribbon' of these small stations to transmit emergency information to travelers, so a number of transmitters could cover the I-64 evacuation route providing critical information on gas, restrooms, weather, traffic, food, medical care and exits.

Noting the importance of weather to travelers, the FCC rule change now specifically permits the automatic rebroadcast of severe weather and emergency information to the public on these systems. Thunder Eagle's WE110/AE120 has been reliably providing these critical weather alerts on Low Power AM transmitters throughout the country for many years.

Hurricane Sandy was a true test of emergency communications. Many communities lost all power and communications for weeks. Low Power AM (stories from Sandy), some running on solar charged batteries, often became the only source of emergency information, including severe weather, food, shelters, ice and emergency governmental assistance.

Most government rules are dry hard reading. The FCC's rules are no exception. But it is interesting to see the back and forth comments and how they were integrated into the final rulemaking. Thunder Eagle is gratified that many of its thoughts and comments on the use of Low Power AM for emergency communiations were adopted into the final rules.. The FCC is thanked for the effort and foresight in creating Low Power AM rules that will save lives and property in the future.


FCC TIS Report and Order July 23, 2013

FCC TIS Reconsideration and Second Report and Order March 26, 2015

Radio World TIS Article

Thunder Eagle TIS Comment to FCC

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