Saturday, November 18, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Asia | ABU Advocates Tsunami Broadcast System

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has been informed that Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) has made a direct call to vendors of analog broadcast equipment to incorporate an Emergency Warning Broadcast System (EWBS) in ABU member countries to minimise the damage and impact of disasters.

The call is the result of an ABU General Assembly in Beijing on November 9 that adopted a declaration to implement an EWBS. ABU members are set to urge their national regulators to enact provisions to implement such a system.

Incorporating EWBS feature in digital radio and digital TV equipment and software, was based on a recommendation by the ABU Technical Committee which has studied the feasibility of implementing such a system.

The ABU Technical Committee recommended that the EWBS control signals to be used for analog broadcasting in the ABU countries should be those developed by ITU-R (International Telecommunication Union – Radiocommunication Sector, an agency of the United Nations).

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News suggests that it is a natural progression for vendors to incorporate EWBS automatically, not just for analog devices.

In order to minimise the damage and impact of disasters, ABU members would support the development of EWBS systems for the Asia-Pacific region in close coordination with national or international organisations identified for issuing disaster forecasts. ABU members would also urge their national regulators to enact provisions to implement EWBS systems in the Asia-Pacific region and encourage manufacturers to produce receivers with the EWBS feature.

“Conveying timely warning to the public before the occurrence of disasters must be a high priority. ABU members will coordinate closely with international organisations to enable the flow of time- critical information through the most appropriate and effective channels,” said David Astley, ABU Secretary-General.

“Even though it is nearly two years after the disasters of the Asian tsunami, we still have a situation where most countries in the region do not have a system whereby they can receive early warnings of potential tsunamis and other natural occurrences which may cause disasters.

“It is therefore timely that we take some action to try and rectify this situation and will actively help countries that do not have these alert systems set up yet,” said Mr Astley.

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