The Federal Government Will Temporarily Interrupt All TV and Radio Broadcasts on November 9, 2011-Truth!

The Federal Government Will Temporarily Interrupt All TV and Radio Broadcasts on November 9, 2011-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
 
The eRumor says “If you have ever wondered about the government’s ability to control civilian airwaves, you will have your answer on November 9th,” the day they will shut off all television and radio at the same time for a test of the national Emergency Alert System.
The Truth:
Whoever authored this was being cynical about the “government’s ability to control the civilian airwaves.” All broadcasting is under government oversight because it is permitted through licenses granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This particular event on November 9, 2011 is not an expansion of that control.  Click for FCC announcement.
The government is not going to “cut off” broadcasting but is going to be inserting a nationwide test of what is known as the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Most listeners to American radio and viewers of American television are familiar with such tests. They are conducted by local stations on a regular basis and usually start with an announcer saying, “This is a test.”
The difference on November 9 will be that the test is nationwide and conducted on all stations at once at 2:00pm Eastern Time and will be longer than the familiar local tests, which are usually one-minute. This nationwide message will be 3 1/2 minutes.
According to the FCC, this will be the first time that all the stations will do the test at the same time and is to “…assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism.”
Radio and TV spots will be running nationwide in advance of November 9 to let citizens know that the test is coming up and why it is being conducted.

Public Service Announcement posted by the FCC on YouTube

updated 10/24/11