PBS Selects D2D for WEA

D2D Technologies to supply PBS with updated Wireless Emergency Alert System equipment.

D2D Technologies recently announced that the company was selected by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as their vendor partner to supply a customized solution to all public television stations for the insertion and broadcast of emergency message data that complies with upcoming FCC mandated changes to the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.

The nationwide PBS WARN system provides a resilient and reliable broadcast-based message path that ensures delivery of all Wireless Emergency Alerts and is the largest public safety program currently undertaken by PBS. PBS WARN’s role in improving the overall resilience and cybersecurity of the WEA system have been noted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in their Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC)’s most recent report on “Comprehensive Re-Imagining of Emergency Alerting.” The CSRIC noted the PBS WARN program is “well positioned to provide an immediate alternate source of inbound WEA messages” for cellular carriers who have opted to deliver wireless emergency alerts to their customers.

The System

The system from D2D Technologies is a fully integrated 2RU solution that receives Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages sent via the PBS Satellite Interconnection System and reliably inserts the designated message PID(s) into the broadcast transport stream with full failsafe and failover capabilities. The system is built around the D2Flex OG-3000 for openGear broadcast quality full duplex IP/ASI video processor that faithfully handles the grooming, PID insertion, monitoring and alerting for the system.  By using a fully redundant Receiver and Groomer pair, the system can continuously monitor and automatically failover from main to backup to guarantee that the WEA messages continue to be inserted into the broadcast stream. The D2WARN solution is designed to be easily installed and operated by public television stations with configurations for ASI, SMPTE-310M, and TSoIP input and output.

The updated solution supplied by D2D Technologies will support PBS’ ongoing participation in the Wireless Emergency Alert system, with capability to process the essential new alert options required by the FCC, including: increased message length of up to 360 characters; embedded clickable hyperlinks; new “blue alerts” to notify the public of threats to law enforcement; and greater geographical accuracy of all alerts. The equipment comes with five years of support and warranty services, which will ensure that stations continue to provide this public service for the foreseeable future.

The solution supports ASI, SMPTE-310, and TSoIP I/O with full failover capabilities in a 2RU frame to ensure that WEA messages continue to be reliably inserted into the PBS broadcast stream.  It will also feature multiple input/outputs to support additional alerting at the local and/or national level.

Dana Golub, Vice President of Programs Management for PBS and Executive Director of the PBS WARN program notes, “Public safety is mission-critical for public television and identifying the right solution to complete such an important update to the Wireless Emergency Alert system is a meaningful step.”

“America’s Public Television Stations look forward to working with PBS and D2D Technologies to enhance and enlarge our public safety mission,” said Patrick Butler, APTS president and CEO.  “We are doing more every day in emergency communications at the national, state and local levels, and this new generation of technology will make it possible for us to perform this mission even more reliably and comprehensively.”

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