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Congress

Walden Seeks Review Of Emergency Alert Test

November 15, 2011

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., says he wants answers about last week's test of the emergency alert system, which was highly promoted and thenplagued by reports of problems.

Walden, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology,said on Tuesday he has scheduled a meeting with federal officials to review the Nov. 9 test.

Across the country many people reported that no signal appeared or the transmission was garbled on outlets ranging from radio, TV, and cable.

"By many accounts, last week's test had major problems," Walden said in a statement. "In my home state of Oregon, most--if not all--stations didn't even receive the signal.

He said he has contacted officials at the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency to schedule a briefing for the subcommittee's members on Thursday.

"I look forward to hearing where the agencies can relay what worked, what didn't, and where we can go from here to fix it," Walden said.

The FCC and FEMA contend that the test played out exactly as needed.

"The Nationwide EAS Test served the purpose for which it was intended - to identify gaps and generate a comprehensive set of data to help strengthen our ability to communicate during real emergencies," they said in a joint statement.

More than 30,000 communications carriers participated in the test and they have 45 days to report on the results.

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