[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 225 (Wednesday, November 23, 2022)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 71539-71557]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-25263]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 10 and 11

[PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91, 22-329; FCC 22-82; FR ID 113410]


Emergency Alert System; Wireless Emergency Alerts; Protecting the 
Nation's Communications Systems From Cybersecurity Threats

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission proposes requirements for 
Emergency Alert System (EAS) Participants to report compromises of 
their EAS equipment, communications systems, and services to the 
Commission. Additionally, this document proposes requirements for EAS 
Participants and Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers that 
participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to annually certify to 
having a cybersecurity risk management plan in place and to employ 
sufficient security measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, 
and availability of their respective alerting systems. This document 
also proposes requirements for participating CMS providers to take 
steps to ensure that only valid alerts are displayed on consumer 
devices. These requirements would further protect the nation's 
communications systems from cybersecurity threats. With this Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on the proposed rules 
and any suitable alternatives.

DATES: Comments are due on or before December 23, 2022 and reply 
comments are due on or before January 23, 2023.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 
15-91, and 22-329, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and one copy of each filing.
    Filings can be sent by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be 
addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, 
Federal Communications Commission.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, 
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554.

[[Page 71540]]

     Effective March 19, 2020, and until further notice, the 
Commission no longer accepts any hand or messenger delivered filings. 
This is a temporary measure taken to help protect the health and safety 
of individuals, and to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. See FCC 
Announces Closure of FCC Headquarters Open Window and Change in Hand-
Delivery Policy, Public Notice, DA 20-304 (March 19, 2020). https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-closes-headquarters-open-window-and-changes-hand-delivery-policy.
    People with Disabilities. To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, please contact James Wiley, 
Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division, Public Safety 
and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-1678, or by email to 
[email protected], or Steven Carpenter, Cybersecurity and 
Communications Reliability Division, Public Safety and Homeland 
Security Bureau, (202) 418-2313, or by email to 
[email protected]. For additional information concerning the 
Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained 
in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole 
Ongele, Office of Managing Director, Performance Evaluation and Records 
Management, 202-418-2991, or by email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in PS Docket Nos. 15-94, 15-91, 22-329; 
FCC 22-82, adopted and released on October 27, 2022. The full text of 
this document is available by downloading the text from the 
Commission's website at: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-82A1.pdf.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeks comment on 
potential new or revised proposed information collection requirements. 
If the Commission adopts any new or revised final information 
collection requirements when the final rules are adopted, the 
Commission will publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting 
further comments from the public on the final information collection 
requirements, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The Commission, as part of its 
continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general 
public and OMB to comment on the information collection requirements 
contained in this document, as required by the PRA. Public and agency 
comments on the PRA proposed information collection requirements are 
due January 23, 2023.
    Comments should address: (a) whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) 
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on the respondents, including the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) 
way to further reduce the information collection burden on small 
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. In addition, pursuant 
to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 
see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might 
further reduce the information collection burden for small business 
concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

I. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules 
proposed in the NPRM. Written public comments are requested on this 
IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be 
filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM. The Commission will 
send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the 
NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal 
Register.

A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    2. The NPRM raises awareness concerning security of the nation's 
alert and warning systems is essential to helping safeguard the lives 
and property of all Americans. To ensure that the EAS and WEA remain 
strong, the Commission must act proactively in its oversight of 
stakeholders associated with these systems. The Commission has 
previously encouraged stakeholders to ensure that their systems are 
secure and provided guidance on specific steps that communications 
providers could take to secure their equipment. According to data 
collected by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) 
during the nationwide EAS test in August 2021 however, more than 5,000 
EAS Participants were using outdated software or using equipment that 
no longer supported regular software updates. Moreover, in the area of 
equipment operational readiness, the test also revealed that an 
appreciable number of EAS Participants were unable to participate in 
testing due to equipment failure. This was despite receiving advanced 
notice that the test was going to be conducted. The Commission 
therefore believes the information revealed in the nationwide EAS test 
signals that we should take action to ensure and enhance the security 
of the EAS and WEA. In the NPRM, the Commission acts to improve the 
security and reliability of the EAS and WEA by proposing and seeking 
comment on rules promoting the operational readiness of EAS equipment, 
improving awareness of unauthorized access to EAS equipment, 
communications systems, or services, protecting the nation's alerting 
systems through the development, implementation, and certification of a 
cybersecurity risk management plan and displaying only valid WEA 
messages on mobile devices.
    3. The NPRM includes specific proposals upon which the Commission 
seeks comment include: requiring EAS Participants and Participating CMS 
Providers to annually certify to having a cybersecurity risk management 
plan in place and employing sufficient security controls to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their respective 
alerting systems (including certain baseline security controls); 
requiring EAS Participants to report any incident of unauthorized 
access of their EAS equipment, communications systems, or services 
(i.e., regardless of whether that compromise has resulted in the 
transmission of a false alert) to the Commission via NORS within 72 
hours of when it knew or should have known that an incident has 
occurred, and provide details concerning the incident and requiring 
that mobile devices only present WEA alerts from valid base stations. 
In addition, the Commission seeks comment on whether and how to promote 
the operational readiness of EAS. The Commission also

[[Page 71541]]

seeks comment to refresh the record on previously proposed changes to 
the WEA infrastructure functionality rules, and on how our proposals in 
the NPRM may promote or inhibit advances in diversity, equity, 
inclusion, and accessibility, as well as on the scope of the 
Commission's relevant legal authority.

B. Legal Basis

    4. The proposed action is authorized pursuant to sections 1, 2, 
4(i), 4(n), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 
624(g), and 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(n), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 303(v), 
307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), and 606; The Warning, Alert and Response 
Network (WARN) Act, WARN Act sections 602(a), (b), (c), (f), 603, 604, 
and 606, 47 U.S.C. 1202(a),(b),(c), (f), 1203, 1204 and 1206; the 
Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, Pub. L. 106-81, 
47 U.S.C. 615, 615a, 615b; Section 202 of the Twenty-First Century 
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 613.

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    5. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where 
feasible, an estimate of, the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A ``small business concern'' is one which: (1) is independently 
owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and 
(3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA).
    6. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, Small Governmental 
Jurisdictions. Our actions, over time, may affect small entities that 
are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at 
the outset, three broad groups of small entities that could be directly 
affected herein. First, while there are industry specific size 
standards for small businesses that are used in the regulatory 
flexibility analysis, according to data from the SBA's Office of 
Advocacy, in general a small business is an independent business having 
fewer than 500 employees. These types of small businesses represent 
99.9% of all businesses in the United States, which translates to 32.5 
million businesses.
    7. Next, the type of small entity described as a ``small 
organization'' is generally ``any not-for-profit enterprise which is 
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.'' 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses a revenue benchmark of $50,000 
or less to delineate its annual electronic filing requirements for 
small exempt organizations. Nationwide, for tax year 2020, there were 
approximately 447,689 small exempt organizations in the U.S. reporting 
revenues of $50,000 or less according to the registration and tax data 
for exempt organizations available from the IRS.
    8. Finally, the small entity described as a ``small governmental 
jurisdiction'' is defined generally as ``governments of cities, 
counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special 
districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.'' U.S. Census 
Bureau data from the 2017 Census of Governments indicate that there 
were 90,075 local governmental jurisdictions consisting of general 
purpose governments and special purpose governments in the United 
States. Of this number there were 36,931 general purpose governments 
(county, municipal and town or township) with populations of less than 
50,000 and 12,040 special purpose governments--independent school 
districts with enrollment populations of less than 50,000. Accordingly, 
based on the 2017 U.S. Census of Governments data, we estimate that at 
least 48,971 entities fall into the category of ``small governmental 
jurisdictions.''
    9. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This 
industry comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining 
switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the 
airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and 
provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular services, paging 
services, wireless internet access, and wireless video services. The 
SBA size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if 
it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show 
that there were 2,893 firms in this industry that operated for the 
entire year. Of that number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 
employees. Additionally, based on Commission data in the 2021 Universal 
Service Monitoring Report, as of December 31, 2020, there were 797 
providers that reported they were engaged in the provision of wireless 
services. Of these providers, the Commission estimates that 715 
providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently, using the SBA's 
small business size standard, most of these providers can be considered 
small entities.
    10. Broadband Personal Communications Service. The broadband 
personal communications services (PCS) spectrum encompasses services in 
the 1850-1910 and 1930-1990 MHz bands. The closest industry with a SBA 
small business size standard applicable to these services is Wireless 
Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). The SBA small business 
size standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it 
has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show 
that there were 2,893 firms that operated in this industry for the 
entire year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 
employees. Thus under the SBA size standard, the Commission estimates 
that a majority of licensees in this industry can be considered small.
    11. Based on Commission data as of November 2021, there were 
approximately 5,060 active licenses in the Broadband PCS service. The 
Commission's small business size standards with respect to Broadband 
PCS involve eligibility for bidding credits and installment payments in 
the auction of licenses for these services. In auctions for these 
licenses, the Commission defined ``small business'' as an entity that, 
together with its affiliates and controlling interests, has average 
gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years, 
and a ``very small business'' as an entity that, together with its 
affiliates and controlling interests, has had average annual gross 
revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years. 
Winning bidders claiming small business credits won Broadband PCS 
licenses in C, D, E, and F Blocks.
    12. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these, at this time we are not able to estimate the 
number of licensees with active licenses that would qualify as small

[[Page 71542]]

under the SBA's small business size standard.
    13. Narrowband Personal Communications Services. Narrowband 
Personal Communications Services (Narrowband PCS) are PCS services 
operating in the 901-902 MHz, 930-931 MHz, and 940-941 MHz bands. PCS 
services are radio communications that encompass mobile and ancillary 
fixed communication that provide services to individuals and businesses 
and can be integrated with a variety of competing networks. Wireless 
Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) is the closest industry 
with a SBA small business size standard applicable to these services. 
The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a 
business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census 
Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 firms that operated in 
this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed 
fewer than 250 employees. Thus under the SBA size standard, the 
Commission estimates that a majority of licensees in this industry can 
be considered small.
    14. According to Commission data as of December 2021, there were 
approximately 4,211 active Narrowband PCS licenses. The Commission's 
small business size standards with respect to Narrowband PCS involve 
eligibility for bidding credits and installment payments in the auction 
of licenses for these services. For the auction of these licenses, the 
Commission defined a ``small business'' as an entity that, together 
with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues 
for the three preceding years of not more than $40 million. A ``very 
small business'' is defined as an entity that, together with affiliates 
and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three 
preceding years of not more than $15 million. Pursuant to these 
definitions, 7 winning bidders claiming small and very small bidding 
credits won approximately 359 licenses. One of the winning bidders 
claiming a small business status classification in these Narrowband PCS 
license auctions had an active license as of December 2021.
    15. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    16. Wireless Communications Services. Wireless Communications 
Services (WCS) can be used for a variety of fixed, mobile, 
radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite services. 
Wireless spectrum is made available and licensed for the provision of 
wireless communications services in several frequency bands subject to 
Part 27 of the Commission's rules. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers 
(except Satellite) is the closest industry with a SBA small business 
size standard applicable to these services. The SBA small business size 
standard for this industry classifies a business as small if it has 
1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 
there were 2,893 firms that operated in this industry for the entire 
year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. 
Thus under the SBA size standard, the Commission estimates that a 
majority of licensees in this industry can be considered small.
    17. The Commission's small business size standards with respect to 
WCS involve eligibility for bidding credits and installment payments in 
the auction of licenses for the various frequency bands included in 
WCS. When bidding credits are adopted for the auction of licenses in 
WCS frequency bands, such credits may be available to several types of 
small businesses based average gross revenues (small, very small and 
entrepreneur) pursuant to the competitive bidding rules adopted in 
conjunction with the requirements for the auction and/or as identified 
in the designated entities section in Part 27 of the Commission's rules 
for the specific WCS frequency bands.
    18. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    19. 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees. The 700 MHz Guard Band 
encompasses spectrum in 746-747/776-777 MHz and 762-764/792-794 MHz 
frequency bands. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except 
Satellite) is the closest industry with a SBA small business size 
standard applicable to licenses providing services in these bands. The 
SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a 
business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census 
Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 firms that operated in 
this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed 
fewer than 250 employees. Thus under the SBA size standard, the 
Commission estimates that a majority of licensees in this industry can 
be considered small.
    20. According to Commission data as of December 2021, there were 
approximately 224 active 700 MHz Guard Band licenses. The Commission's 
small business size standards with respect to 700 MHz Guard Band 
licensees involve eligibility for bidding credits and installment 
payments in the auction of licenses. For the auction of these licenses, 
the Commission defined a ``small business'' as an entity that, together 
with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross 
revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years, and a 
``very small business'' an entity that, together with its affiliates 
and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not 
more than $15 million for the preceding three years. Pursuant to these 
definitions, five winning bidders claiming one of the small business 
status classifications won 26 licenses, and one winning bidder claiming 
small business won two licenses. None of the winning bidders claiming a 
small business status classification in these 700 MHz Guard Band 
license auctions had an active license as of December 2021.
    21. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as

[[Page 71543]]

small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    22. Lower 700 MHz Band Licenses. The lower 700 MHz band encompasses 
spectrum in the 698-746 MHz frequency bands. Permissible operations in 
these bands include flexible fixed, mobile, and broadcast uses, 
including mobile and other digital new broadcast operation; fixed and 
mobile wireless commercial services (including FDD- and TDD-based 
services); as well as fixed and mobile wireless uses for private, 
internal radio needs, two-way interactive, cellular, and mobile 
television broadcasting services. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers 
(except Satellite) is the closest industry with a SBA small business 
size standard applicable to licenses providing services in these bands. 
The SBA small business size standard for this industry classifies a 
business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. U.S. Census 
Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 firms that operated in 
this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 2,837 firms employed 
fewer than 250 employees. Thus under the SBA size standard, the 
Commission estimates that a majority of licensees in this industry can 
be considered small.
    23. According to Commission data as of December 2021, there were 
approximately 2,824 active Lower 700 MHz Band licenses. The 
Commission's small business size standards with respect to Lower 700 
MHz Band licensees involve eligibility for bidding credits and 
installment payments in the auction of licenses. For auctions of Lower 
700 MHz Band licenses the Commission adopted criteria for three groups 
of small businesses. A very small business was defined as an entity 
that, together with its affiliates and controlling interests, has 
average annual gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the 
preceding three years, a small business was defined as an entity that, 
together with its affiliates and controlling interests, has average 
gross revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years, 
and an entrepreneur was defined as an entity that, together with its 
affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues not 
exceeding $3 million for the preceding three years. In auctions for 
Lower 700 MHz Band licenses seventy-two winning bidders claiming a 
small business classification won 329 licenses, twenty-six winning 
bidders claiming a small business classification won 214 licenses, and 
three winning bidders claiming a small business classification won all 
five auctioned licenses.
    24. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    25. Upper 700 MHz Band Licenses. The upper 700 MHz band encompasses 
spectrum in the 746-806 MHz bands. Upper 700 MHz D Block licenses are 
nationwide licenses associated with the 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz 
bands. Permissible operations in these bands include flexible fixed, 
mobile, and broadcast uses, including mobile and other digital new 
broadcast operation; fixed and mobile wireless commercial services 
(including FDD- and TDD-based services); as well as fixed and mobile 
wireless uses for private, internal radio needs, two-way interactive, 
cellular, and mobile television broadcasting services. Wireless 
Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) is the closest industry 
with a SBA small business size standard applicable to licenses 
providing services in these bands. The SBA small business size standard 
for this industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or 
fewer employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 
2,893 firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of that 
number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. Thus, under the 
SBA size standard, the Commission estimates that a majority of 
licensees in this industry can be considered small.
    26. According to Commission data as of December 2021, there were 
approximately 152 active Upper 700 MHz Band licenses. The Commission's 
small business size standards with respect to Upper 700 MHz Band 
licensees involve eligibility for bidding credits and installment 
payments in the auction of licenses. For the auction of these licenses, 
the Commission defined a ``small business'' as an entity that, together 
with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross 
revenues not exceeding $40 million for the preceding three years, and a 
``very small business'' an entity that, together with its affiliates 
and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not 
more than $15 million for the preceding three years. Pursuant to these 
definitions, three winning bidders claiming very small business status 
won five of the twelve available licenses.
    27. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    28. Advanced Wireless Services (AWS)--(1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 
MHz bands (AWS-1); 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz and 
2175-2180 MHz bands (AWS-2); 2155-2175 MHz band (AWS-3); 2000-2020 MHz 
and 2180-2200 MHz (AWS-4). Spectrum is made available and licensed in 
these bands for the provision of various wireless communications 
services. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) is 
the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard applicable 
to these services. The SBA small business size standard for this 
industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 
firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this 
number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. Thus, under the 
SBA size standard, the Commission estimates that a majority of 
licensees in this industry can be considered small.
    29. According to Commission data as December 2021, there were 
approximately 4,472 active AWS licenses. The Commission's small 
business size standards with respect to AWS involve eligibility for 
bidding credits and installment payments in the auction of licenses for 
these services. For the auction of AWS licenses, the Commission defined 
a ``small business'' as an entity with average annual gross revenues 
for the preceding three years not exceeding $40 million, and a ``very 
small business'' as an entity with average annual gross revenues for 
the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million. Pursuant to these 
definitions,

[[Page 71544]]

57 winning bidders claiming status as small or very small businesses 
won 215 of 1,087 licenses. In the most recent auction of AWS licenses 
15 of 37 bidders qualifying for status as small or very small 
businesses won licenses.
    30. In frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the 
Commission notes that as a general matter, the number of winning 
bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction 
does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently 
in service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    31. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. 
Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint 
Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution 
Service (MMDS) systems, and ``wireless cable,'' transmit video 
programming to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data 
operations using the microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio 
Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously 
referred to as the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS)). 
Wireless cable operators that use spectrum in the BRS often 
supplemented with leased channels from the EBS, provide a competitive 
alternative to wired cable and other multichannel video programming 
distributors. Wireless cable programming to subscribers resembles cable 
television, but instead of coaxial cable, wireless cable uses microwave 
channels.
    32. In light of the use of wireless frequencies by BRS and EBS 
services, the closest industry with a SBA small business size standard 
applicable to these services is Wireless Telecommunications Carriers 
(except Satellite). The SBA small business size standard for this 
industry classifies a business as small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 2,893 
firms that operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this 
number, 2,837 firms employed fewer than 250 employees. Thus under the 
SBA size standard, the Commission estimates that a majority of 
licensees in this industry can be considered small.
    33. According to Commission data as December 2021, there were 
approximately 5,869 active BRS and EBS licenses. The Commission's small 
business size standards with respect to BRS involves eligibility for 
bidding credits and installment payments in the auction of licenses for 
these services. For the auction of BRS licenses, the Commission adopted 
criteria for three groups of small businesses. A very small business is 
an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling interests, 
has average annual gross revenues exceed $3 million and did not exceed 
$15 million for the preceding three years, a small business is an 
entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling interests, 
has average gross revenues exceed $15 million and did not exceed $40 
million for the preceding three years, and an entrepreneur is an entity 
that, together with its affiliates and controlling interests, has 
average gross revenues not exceeding $3 million for the preceding three 
years. Of the ten winning bidders for BRS licenses, two bidders 
claiming the small business status won 4 licenses, one bidder claiming 
the very small business status won three licenses and two bidders 
claiming entrepreneur status won six licenses. One of the winning 
bidders claiming a small business status classification in the BRS 
license auction has an active licenses as of December 2021.
    34. The Commission's small business size standards for EBS define a 
small business as an entity that, together with its affiliates, its 
controlling interests and the affiliates of its controlling interests, 
has average gross revenues that are not more than $55 million for the 
preceding five (5) years, and a very small business is an entity that, 
together with its affiliates, its controlling interests and the 
affiliates of its controlling interests, has average gross revenues 
that are not more than $20 million for the preceding five (5) years. In 
frequency bands where licenses were subject to auction, the Commission 
notes that as a general matter, the number of winning bidders that 
qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction does not 
necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently in 
service. Further, the Commission does not generally track subsequent 
business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, 
unjust enrichment issues are implicated. Additionally, since the 
Commission does not collect data on the number of employees for 
licensees providing these services, at this time we are not able to 
estimate the number of licensees with active licenses that would 
qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard.
    35. The Educational Broadcasting Services. Cable-based educational 
broadcasting services fall under the broad category of the Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers industry. The Wired Telecommunications 
Carriers industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in 
operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and 
infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of 
voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications 
networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology 
or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use 
the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to 
provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, 
including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming 
distribution; and wired broadband internet services.
    36. The SBA small business size standard for this industry 
classifies businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees as small. U.S. 
Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 3,054 firms in this 
industry that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 2,964 firms 
operated with fewer than 250 employees. Thus, under this size standard, 
the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small. 
Additionally, according to Commission data as of December 2021, there 
were 4,477 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that the 
majority of these licenses are held by non-profit educational 
institutions and school districts and are likely small entities.
    37. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications 
Equipment Manufacturing. This industry comprises establishments 
primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and 
wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these 
establishments are: transmitting and receiving antennas, cable 
television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile 
communications equipment, and radio and television studio and 
broadcasting equipment. The SBA small business size standard for this 
industry classifies businesses having 1,250 employees or less as small. 
U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there were 656 firms in this 
industry that operated for the entire year. Of this number, 624 firms 
had fewer than 250 employees. Thus, under the SBA size

[[Page 71545]]

standard, the majority of firms in this industry can be considered 
small.
    38. Software Publishers. This industry comprises establishments 
primarily engaged in computer software publishing or publishing and 
reproduction. Establishments in this industry carry out operations 
necessary for producing and distributing computer software, such as 
designing, providing documentation, assisting in installation, and 
providing support services to software purchasers. These establishments 
may design, develop, and publish, or publish only. The SBA small 
business size standard for this industry classifies businesses having 
annual receipts of $41.5 million or less as small. U.S. Census Bureau 
data for 2017 indicate that 7,842 firms in this industry operated for 
the entire year. Of this number 7,226 firms had revenue of less than 
$25 million. Based on this data, we conclude that a majority of firms 
in this industry are small.
    39. Noncommercial Educational (NCE) and Public Broadcast Stations. 
Noncommercial educational broadcast stations and public broadcast 
stations are television or radio broadcast stations which under the 
Commission's rules are eligible to be licensed by the Commission as a 
noncommercial educational radio or television broadcast station and are 
owned and operated by a public agency or nonprofit private foundation, 
corporation, or association; or are owned and operated by a 
municipality which transmits only noncommercial programs for education 
purposes.
    40. The SBA small business size standards and U.S. Census Bureau 
data classify radio stations and television broadcasting separately and 
both categories may include both noncommercial and commercial stations. 
The SBA small business size standard for both radio stations and 
television broadcasting classify firms having $41.5 million or less in 
annual receipts as small. For Radio Stations, U.S. Census Bureau data 
for 2017 show that 1,879 of the 2,963 firms that operated during that 
year had revenue of less than $25 million per year. For Television 
Broadcasting, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 657 of the 744 
firms that operated for the entire year had revenue of less than 
$25,000,000. While the U.S. Census Bureau data does not indicate the 
number of non-commercial stations, we estimate that under the 
applicable SBA size standard the majority of noncommercial educational 
broadcast stations and public broadcast stations are small entities.
    41. According to Commission data as of March 31, 2022, there were 
4,503 licensed noncommercial educational radio and television stations. 
In addition, the Commission estimates as of March 31, 2022, there were 
384 licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations, 383 
Class A TV stations, 1,840 LPTV stations and 3,231 TV translator 
stations. The Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have 
access to financial information for these stations that permit it to 
determine how many stations qualify as small entities under the SBA 
small business size standards. However, given the nature of these 
services, we will presume that all noncommercial educational and public 
broadcast stations qualify as small entities under the above SBA small 
business size standards.
    42. Radio Stations. This industry is comprised of ``establishments 
primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the 
public.'' Programming may originate in their own studio, from an 
affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA small business 
size standard for this industry classifies firms having $41.5 million 
or less in annual receipts as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 
show that 2,963 firms operated in this industry during that year. Of 
this number, 1,879 firms operated with revenue of less than $25 million 
per year. Based on this data and the SBA's small business size 
standard, we estimate a majority of such entities are small entities.
    43. The Commission estimates that as of March 31, 2022, there were 
4,508 licensed commercial AM radio stations and 6,763 licensed 
commercial FM radio stations, for a combined total of 11,271 commercial 
radio stations. Of this total, 11,269 stations (or 99.98%) had revenues 
of $41.5 million or less in 2021, according to Commission staff review 
of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Database (BIA) on June 1, 2022, 
and therefore these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA 
definition. In addition, the Commission estimates that as of March 31, 
2022, there were 4,119 licensed noncommercial (NCE) FM radio stations, 
2,049 low power FM (LPFM) stations, and 8,919 FM translators and 
boosters. The Commission however does not compile, and otherwise does 
not have access to financial information for these radio stations that 
would permit it to determine how many of these stations qualify as 
small entities under the SBA small business size standard. 
Nevertheless, given the SBA's large annual receipts threshold for this 
industry and the nature of these radio station licensees, we presume 
that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above 
SBA small business size standard.
    44. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern 
qualifies as ``small'' under the above definition, business (control) 
affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, likely 
overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our 
action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not 
include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, 
another element of the definition of ``small business'' requires that 
an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at 
this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish 
whether a specific radio or television broadcast station is dominant in 
its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses 
to which the rules may apply does not exclude any radio or television 
station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is 
therefore possibly over-inclusive. An additional element of the 
definition of ``small business'' is that the entity must be 
independently owned and operated. Because it is difficult to assess 
these criteria in the context of media entities, the estimate of small 
businesses to which the rules may apply does not exclude any radio or 
television station from the definition of a small business on this 
basis and similarly may be over-inclusive.
    45. FM Translator Stations and Low-Power FM Stations. FM 
translators and Low Power FM Stations are classified in the industry 
for Radio Stations. The Radio Stations industry comprises 
establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by 
radio to the public. Programming may originate in their own studio, 
from an affiliated network, or from external sources. The SBA small 
business size standard for this industry classifies firms having $41.5 
million or less in annual receipts as small. U.S. Census Bureau data 
for 2017 show that 2,963 firms operated during that year. Of that 
number, 1,879 firms operated with revenue of less than $25 million per 
year. Therefore, based on the SBA's size standard we conclude that the 
majority of FM Translator stations and Low Power FM Stations are small. 
Additionally, according to Commission data, as of March 31, 2022, there 
were 8,919 FM Translator Stations and 2,049 Low Power FM licensed 
broadcast stations. The Commission however does not compile and 
otherwise does not have access to information on the revenue of these 
stations that would permit it to

[[Page 71546]]

determine how many of the stations would qualify as small entities. For 
purposes of this regulatory flexibility analysis, we presume the 
majority of these stations are small entities.
    46. Television Broadcasting. This industry is comprised of 
``establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with 
sound.'' These establishments operate television broadcast studios and 
facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the 
public. These establishments also produce or transmit visual 
programming to affiliated broadcast television stations, which in turn 
broadcast the programs to the public on a predetermined schedule. 
Programming may originate in their own studio, from an affiliated 
network, or from external sources. The SBA small business size standard 
for this industry classifies businesses having $41.5 million or less in 
annual receipts as small. 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data indicate that 
744 firms in this industry operated for the entire year. Of that 
number, 657 firms had revenue of less than $25,000,000. Based on this 
data we estimate that the majority of television broadcasters are small 
entities under the SBA small business size standard.
    47. The Commission estimates that as of March 31, 2022, there were 
1,373 licensed commercial television stations. Of this total, 1,280 
stations (or 93.2%) had revenues of $41.5 million or less in 2021, 
according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media 
Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on June 1, 2022, and therefore 
these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. In 
addition, the Commission estimates as of March 31, 2022, there were 384 
licensed noncommercial educational (NCE) television stations, 383 Class 
A TV stations, 1,840 LPTV stations and 3,231 TV translator stations. 
The Commission however does not compile, and otherwise does not have 
access to financial information for these television broadcast stations 
that would permit it to determine how many of these stations qualify as 
small entities under the SBA small business size standard. 
Nevertheless, given the SBA's large annual receipts threshold for this 
industry and the nature of these television station licensees, we 
presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the 
above SBA small business size standard.
    48. Cable and Other Subscription Programming. The U.S. Census 
Bureau defines this industry as establishments primarily engaged in 
operating studios and facilities for the broadcasting of programs on a 
subscription or fee basis. The broadcast programming is typically 
narrowcast in nature (e.g., limited format, such as news, sports, 
education, or youth-oriented). These establishments produce programming 
in their own facilities or acquire programming from external sources. 
The programming material is usually delivered to a third party, such as 
cable systems or direct-to-home satellite systems, for transmission to 
viewers. The SBA small business size standard for this industry 
classifies firms with annual receipts less than $41.5 million as small. 
Based on U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017, 378 firms operated in this 
industry during that year. Of that number, 149 firms operated with 
revenue of less than $25 million a year and 44 firms operated with 
revenue of $25 million or more. Based on this data, the Commission 
estimates that the majority of firms operating in this industry are 
small.
    49. Cable System Operators (Rate Regulation Standard). The 
Commission has developed its own small business size standard for the 
purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a 
``small cable company'' is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers 
nationwide. Based on industry data, there are about 420 cable companies 
in the U.S. Of these, only seven have more than 400,000 subscribers. In 
addition, under the Commission's rules, a ``small system'' is a cable 
system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Based on industry data, 
there are about 4,139 cable systems (headends) in the U.S. Of these, 
about 639 have more than 15,000 subscribers. Accordingly, the 
Commission estimates that the majority of cable companies and cable 
systems are small.
    50. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, contains a size standard for a 
``small cable operator,'' which is ``a cable operator that, directly or 
through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than one percent of 
all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any 
entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed 
$250,000,000.'' For purposes of the Telecom Act Standard, the 
Commission determined that a cable system operator that serves fewer 
than 677,000 subscribers, either directly or through affiliates, will 
meet the definition of a small cable operator based on the cable 
subscriber count established in a 2001 Public Notice. Based on industry 
data, only six cable system operators have more than 677,000 
subscribers. Accordingly, the Commission estimates that the majority of 
cable system operators are small under this size standard. We note 
however, that the Commission neither requests nor collects information 
on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose 
gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Therefore, we are unable at 
this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system 
operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the 
definition in the Communications Act.
    51. Satellite Telecommunications. This industry comprises firms 
``primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other 
establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by 
forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of 
satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.'' Satellite 
telecommunications service providers include satellite and earth 
station operators. The SBA small business size standard for this 
industry classifies a business with $35 million or less in annual 
receipts as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 275 firms 
in this industry operated for the entire year. Of this number, 242 
firms had revenue of less than $25 million. Additionally, based on 
Commission data in the 2021 Universal Service Monitoring Report, as of 
December 31, 2020, there were 71 providers that reported they were 
engaged in the provision of satellite telecommunications services. Of 
these providers, the Commission estimates that approximately 48 
providers have 1,500 or fewer employees. Consequently using the SBA's 
small business size standard, a little more than of these providers can 
be considered small entities.
    52. All Other Telecommunications. This industry is comprised of 
establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized 
telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications 
telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes 
establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal 
stations and associated facilities connected with one or more 
terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, 
and receiving telecommunications from, satellite systems. Providers of 
internet services (e.g. dial-up ISPs) or voice over internet protocol 
(VoIP) services, via client-supplied telecommunications connections are 
also included in this industry. The SBA small business size standard 
for this industry classifies firms with annual receipts of $35 million 
or less as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that there

[[Page 71547]]

were 1,079 firms in this industry that operated for the entire year. Of 
those firms, 1,039 had revenue of less than $25 million. Based on this 
data, the Commission estimates that the majority of ``All Other 
Telecommunications'' firms can be considered small.
    53. Direct Broadcast Satellite (``DBS'') Service. DBS service is a 
nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and 
audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic ``dish'' antenna 
at the subscriber's location. DBS is included in the Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers industry which comprises establishments 
primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission 
facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the 
transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired 
telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a 
single technology or combination of technologies. Establishments in 
this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that 
they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony 
services, including VoIP services, wired (cable) audio and video 
programming distribution; and wired broadband internet services. By 
exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution 
services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are 
included in this industry.
    54. The SBA small business size standard for Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers classifies firms having 1,500 or fewer 
employees as small. U.S. Census Bureau data for 2017 show that 3,054 
firms operated in this industry for the entire year. Of this number, 
2,964 firms operated with fewer than 250 employees. Based on this data, 
the majority of firms in this industry can be considered small under 
the SBA small business size standard. According to Commission data 
however, only two entities provide DBS service--DIRECTV (owned by AT&T) 
and DISH Network, which require a great deal of capital for operation. 
DIRECTV and DISH Network both exceed the SBA size standard for 
classification as a small business. Therefore, we must conclude based 
on internally developed Commission data, in general DBS service is 
provided only by large firms.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    55. We expect the actions proposed in the NPRM, if adopted, will 
impose additional reporting, recordkeeping and/or other compliance 
obligations on small as well as other entities who are EAS Participants 
and Participating CMS Providers. More specifically, if adopted, EAS 
Participants and Participating CMS Providers would be required to 
annually certify to creating, updating, and implementing a 
cybersecurity risk management plan to ensure the confidentiality, 
integrity, and availability of their respective alerting systems. The 
cybersecurity risk management plan must contain among other things, a 
description of how organizational resources are employed to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the alerting system. 
Further, any incident involving the unauthorized access to EAS 
equipment, communications systems, or services, regardless of whether 
the event resulted in the transmission of a false alert would require 
EAS Participants to report the unauthorized access to the Commission 
within 72 hours of when the EAS Participant knew or should have known 
that an incident has occurred. The Commission also seeks comment on 
whether and how to strengthen the operational readiness of the EAS.
    56. In assessing the cost of compliance with our proposed rule to 
create a cybersecurity risk management plan, we estimate the cost for 
each small EAS Participant and each Participating CMS Providers to be 
approximately $820. These costs are based on 10 hours of labor at $82 
an hour and apply to all EAS Participants and Participating CMS 
Providers not just small entities. We anticipate however, that many 
small EAS Participants and Participating CMS Providers will not require 
10 hours to develop or update a cybersecurity risk management plan 
tailored to the size of their organization. The cost for reporting an 
unauthorized access incident we believe would be similar to the cost of 
reporting a false alert, which the Commission has estimated to have a 
total cost of $11,600 per year across 290 EAS Participants. This total 
cost when apportioned to each EAS Participant comes out to 
approximately $40 per EAS Participant.
    57. We estimate a $9.2 million one-time cost for all Participating 
CMS Providers, not just small providers, to update the WEA standards 
and software necessary to comply with our proposed rule that 
Participating CMS Providers transmit sufficient authentication 
information to allow mobile devices to present WEA alerts only if they 
come from valid base stations. This figure consists of approximately a 
$500,000 cost to update applicable WEA standards and approximately an 
$8.7 million cost to update applicable software. We quantify the cost 
of modifying standards as the annual compensation for 30 network 
engineers compensated at the national average for their field ($85,816/
year; $41.26/hour), plus annual benefits ($26,775/year; 12.87/hour) 
working for the amount of time that it takes to develop a standard (one 
hour every other week for one year, 26 hours) for 12 distinct 
standards. We quantify the cost of modifying software as the annual 
compensation for a software engineer compensated at the national 
average for their field ($86,998/year), plus annual benefits ($27,143/
year) working for the amount of time that it takes to develop software 
(one year) at each of the 76 CMS Providers that participate in WEA.
    58. At this time the Commission cannot quantify the cost of 
compliance for small entities to comply with the other proposals or 
approaches on which it seeks comment in the NPRM. We believe that the 
modifications to improve and enhance the security of the EAS that we 
discuss in the NPRM are the most efficient and least burdensome 
approach and do not believe small entities will have to hire 
professionals to meet the requirements discussed in the NPRM, if 
adopted. To help the Commission more fully evaluate the cost of 
compliance for small entities should our proposals be adopted, in the 
NPRM, we request comments on the cost implications of our proposals and 
ask whether there are more efficient and less burdensome alternatives 
(including cost estimates) for the Commission to consider. We expect 
the information we receive in comments including cost and benefit 
analyses, will help the Commission identify and evaluate relevant 
matters for small entities, including compliance costs and other 
burdens that may result from the proposals and inquiries we make in the 
NPRM.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    59. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, 
specifically small business alternatives that it has considered in 
reaching its proposed approach, which may include (among others) the 
following four alternatives: (1) the establishment of differing 
compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into 
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the 
clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or 
reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the 
use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) and 
exemption from

[[Page 71548]]

coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small entities.
    60. The Commission has taken steps to minimize the impact of the 
proposals in the NPRM as a general matter, and specifically targeting 
small entities, has sought comment on the extent to which we can limit 
the overall economic impact of these proposed requirements if we 
provide increased flexibility for businesses classified as small under 
the SBA small business size standard. Below we discuss actions taken 
and alternatives considered by the Commission for the rules proposed 
promoting the operational readiness of EAS equipment, improving 
awareness of unauthorized access to EAS equipment, communications 
systems, and services, and requiring the development, implementation, 
and certification of a cybersecurity risk management plan.
    61. To further the Commission's objectives to promote EAS equipment 
operational readiness, in the NPRM we seek comment on whether to 
require EAS Participants to repair EAS equipment with prompt and 
reasonable diligence, on whether the EAS Participants should notify the 
Commission of the status of their repairs, and, if so, on the timing, 
content, and means of that notification.
    62. We seek comment on whether a compliance timeframe of 30 days 
from publication in the Federal Register of notice that the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has completed its review of the modified 
information collection to improve the Commission's visibility into the 
repair or replacement of non-operational EAS equipment would not impose 
a burden on small entities. Small and other EAS Participants currently 
make entries in their broadcast station logs and cable system records 
showing the date and time equipment was removed and restored to 
service, and therefore already have processes and procedures in place 
to record information about the operational status of their EAS 
equipment in station logs that could be utilized for the proposed 
notification requirement. In the event that the Commission were to 
alternatively require this notification to be provided through NORS, 
the requirement would become effective within 30 days from publication 
in the Federal Register of notice that the OMB has approved the 
modified information collection or upon publication in the Federal 
Register of a Public Notice announcing that NORS is technically capable 
of receiving such notifications, whichever is later. Similarly, this 
requirement should not impose a burden on small entities for the reason 
stated above and since EAS Participants are already likely to be using 
NORS.
    63. Our approach to improving awareness of unauthorized access to 
EAS equipment, communications systems, and services relies on our 
belief that significant public safety benefits will accrue if EAS 
Participants were required to provide the Commission with notification 
that their EAS equipment, communications systems, and services have 
been accessed without authorization, even in the absence of a 
subsequent transmission of a false alert. The reporting requirement we 
proposed in the NPRM requiring EAS Participants to provide notification 
to the Commission via NORS within 72 hours of when an EAS Participant 
knew or should have known that an incident has occurred should result 
in low marginal costs for small and other EAS participants since our 
requirement parallels the reporting obligations EAS Participants may 
have to other government agencies that require critical infrastructure 
sector entities to report cyber incidents. This would allow the 
requirement to be satisfied by reporting substantially similar 
information to another federal agency in a similar timeframe. We 
believe the cost to report unauthorized access is comparable to the 
cost of reporting false alerts which further supports our belief that 
these costs will be relatively low for small and other EAS 
Participants. In the NPRM we have requested comments and cost and 
benefit analyses on our proposal and beliefs. In addition, we have 
requested alternative proposals (accompanied by cost analyses) for 
unauthorized access reporting requirements that would be less costly 
for small and other EAS Participants while producing similar or greater 
benefits.
    64. The requirement for EAS Participants to report any incident of 
unauthorized access of its EAS equipment, communications systems, or 
services would be effective 60 days from publication in the Federal 
Register of notice that the OMB has approved the modified information 
collection. Since we consider the requirement to report unauthorized 
access similar to the Commission's false alert reporting requirement, 
there are likely to be compliance synergies for small and other EAS 
Participants, and less of a burden than there would be in the absence 
of the similarity. We therefore seek comment in the NPRM on whether an 
EAS Participant's process for ascertaining whether an incident of 
unauthorized access of its EAS equipment, communications systems, or 
services has occurred and reporting it to the Commission entails a 
level of effort comparable to compliance with the Commission's false 
alert reporting requirement.
    65. To further explore the impact of the cybersecurity risk 
management plan requirement proposed in the NPRM which requires small 
and other EAS Participants and Participating CMS Providers to create, 
implement, and annually update a cybersecurity risk management plan and 
submit an annual certification attesting to compliance with 
requirement, Commission seeks comment on steps that it could take to 
limit various burdens. In particular, the Commission requests comment 
on whether the steps that it describes for EAS Participants and 
Participating CMS Providers to submit their risk management plans are 
the most efficient way to implement a certification requirement. In the 
NPRM, we propose to afford each EAS Participant and Participating CMS 
Provider the flexibility to include content in its plan that is 
tailored to its organization, provided that the plan demonstrates how 
the EAS Participant or Participating CMS Provider identifies the cyber 
risks that they face, the controls they use to mitigate those risks, 
and how they ensure that these controls are applied effectively to 
their operations.
    66. The Commission also proposes to require that each plan include 
security controls sufficient to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, 
and availability (CIA) of the EAS. While we believe there are numerous 
methods to satisfy this aspect of the requirement, we have proposed to 
allow the requirement to be satisfied by providing evidence of the 
successful implementation of an established set of cybersecurity best 
practices, such as applicable Center for internet Security (CIS) 
Critical Security Controls or the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure 
Security Agency (CISA) Cybersecurity Baseline. We believe adopting this 
flexible approach will allow EAS Participants and Participating CMS 
Providers to develop a plan that is appropriate for their 
organization's size and available resources, while still ensuring that 
the plan results in ongoing and material improvements in EAS and WEA 
security. The Commission anticipates that this flexibility will reduce 
the costs imposed on small business EAS Participants and Participating 
CMS Providers, which will have different cybersecurity needs than 
larger EAS Participants and Participating CMS Providers, respectively. 
We do note, however, that to ensure that every EAS

[[Page 71549]]

Participant implements a baseline of security controls, the Commission 
proposes to require that each plan include certain security measures: 
changing default passwords prior to operation, installing security 
updates in a timely manner, securing equipment behind properly 
configured firewalls or using other segmentation practices, requiring 
multifactor authentication where applicable, addressing the replacement 
of end-of-life equipment, and wiping, clearing, or encrypting user 
information before disposing of old devices.
    67. The Commission proposes to require compliance with the 
requirement to implement a cybersecurity risk management plan and 
certification within twelve months of the publication in the Federal 
Register of notice that the OMB has approved the modified information 
collection. We recognize that larger EAS Participants are likely to 
already have cybersecurity risk management plans in place. We ask 
whether we should allow small entities a two-year timeframe to 
implement this requirement. The two-year timeframe should provide 
sufficient time for small EAS Participants and small Participating CMS 
Providers that do not already have a risk management plan in place to 
create one. The timeframe would also be sufficient to prepare their 
organizations to manage security and privacy risks, categorize their 
systems and the information being processed, stored, and transmitted, 
and select controls to protect their systems. Further, a two-year 
timeframe would provide time for these entities to implement the 
security controls that the plan describes, assess whether the controls 
are in place, operating as intended, and producing the desired results, 
appoint a senior official to authorize the system, and develop 
mechanisms to continuously monitor control implementation and risks to 
the system.
    68. In the NPRM, the Commission identifies alternative approaches 
on several matters that might minimize the economic impact for small 
entities. For example, the Commission requests alternatives to 
providing a second notification to the Commission once repairs of EAS 
equipment have been completed, and the EAS Participant's EAS systems 
have been tested and determined to once again be fully functional. The 
Commission seeks comment on potential alternatives to, and additional 
aspects of, the discussed approach, as well as their accompanying costs 
and benefits. The Commission recommends that EAS Participants file the 
required notifications regarding EAS equipment failures and repairs in 
the NORS database, but requests comment on other means EAS Participants 
could use to submit the notifications such as via email to a designated 
email address.
    69. The Commission expects to more fully consider the economic 
impact and alternatives for small entities following the review of 
comments filed in response to the NPRM, including costs and benefits 
analyses. Having data on the costs and economic impacts of proposals 
and approaches will allow the Commission to better evaluate options and 
alternatives for minimization of any significant economic impact on 
small entities as a result of the proposals and approaches raised in 
the NPRM. The Commission's evaluation of this information will shape 
the final alternatives it considers to minimize any significant 
economic impact that may occur on small entities, the final conclusions 
it reaches, and any final rules it promulgates in this proceeding.

F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    70. None.

II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Promoting the Operational Readiness of EAS Equipment

    71. We observe that, according to the Bureau's last nationwide EAS 
test report, an appreciable number of EAS Participants were unable to 
participate in testing due to equipment failure--despite advance notice 
that such test was to take place--suggesting that equipment failures 
are not addressed by EAS Participants as swiftly as reasonably possible 
and that more needs to be done to improve EAS operational readiness. 
Today, EAS Participants may continue operations for a period of 60 days 
despite having defective equipment that preclude their participation in 
EAS. We seek comment on whether this approach is effective at ensuring 
the operational readiness of EAS. How frequently does EAS equipment 
encounter defects that prevent it from receiving or retransmitting 
alerts? What are the most common types of defects that are experienced? 
What steps are necessary to repair these defects, and how often do they 
typically take to repair? Do EAS Participants take prompt steps to 
repair their EAS equipment, or do they typically take several days or 
weeks before seeking repairs? Do other EAS stakeholders, such as alert 
originators, have concerns about equipment failures preventing the 
transmission of emergency alerts to the public? We encourage commenters 
to highlight any specific incidences in which an EAS equipment defect 
prevented members of the public from being alerted to an emergency.
    72. We seek comment on how to better promote the operational 
readiness of EAS equipment. For example, instead of requiring repairs 
within 60 days, would it serve the public interest to require EAS 
Participants to conduct repairs promptly and with reasonable diligence? 
Are all EAS Participants already doing so? If so, what are the reasons 
why some EAS Participants are not able to conduct repairs promptly and 
diligently? What factors should we consider when determining whether 
repairs are made promptly and with reasonable diligence? What barriers 
prevent equipment from being repaired promptly and what steps can we 
take to remove those barriers?
    73. Would it improve EAS operational readiness and public safety in 
general to increase the situational awareness of the Commission, alert 
originators, and others about the occurrence of equipment defects that 
might prevent alerts from reaching the public? For example, would such 
an approach allow us to better enforce our operational readiness rules 
and identify persistent technical problems, and make contingency plans 
for alert delivery? If so, should we adopt an EAS equipment defect 
notification requirement? For example, should we require EAS 
Participants to report EAS equipment defects and submit a follow-up 
notification when the equipment is repaired? Within what timeframe 
should they perform that notification to ensure that stakeholders are 
aware of possible impacts on EAS (e.g. 24 hours)? What content should 
the notification contain? For example, should notifications include the 
same information that is already included in requests for additional 
repair time that are required sent to the Regional Director of the FCC 
field office for the area that the EAS Participant serves? We seek 
comment on how, if at all, the Commission should share information to 
promote situational awareness among relevant stakeholders, such as 
alert originators State Emergency Communications Committees. We also 
seek comment on whether to treat this information as confidential and, 
if so, how to protect it. Are there other steps that we should take to 
better ensure that EAS is ready and available when it is needed?
    74. We seek comment on any measures that the Commission could take 
to reduce burdens on EAS Participants if it were to take further

[[Page 71550]]

steps to promote the operational readiness of EAS equipment. Should we 
remove the requirement under Sec.  11.35(b) that EAS Participants make 
entries in their own broadcast station log and cable system records 
showing the date and time the equipment was removed and restored to 
service? Would the elimination of the ``60 day'' rule in favor of a 
prompt repair rule reduce certain burdens on EAS Participants? We seek 
comments on the costs of any approaches to improving EAS operational 
readiness that commenters propose that we consider. In doing so, 
commenters should offer specific cost estimates where possible. For 
example, we seek comment on whether it would be reasonable to estimate 
that EAS Participants would transmit a maximum of 2,000 EAS equipment 
defect notifications annually under the approach discussed above, as 
565 EAS Participants reported their equipment was defective during the 
2021 Nationwide EAS Test? Would it be reasonable to estimate that 2,000 
annual notifications would require one hour of labor each from a 
General and Operations Manager who is compensated at $82 per hour, 
resulting in an overall cost of $164,000? We seek similarly detailed 
analysis on potential alternatives to improve EAS operational 
readiness.

B. Improving Awareness of Unauthorized Access to EAS Equipment

    75. Section 11.45(b) of the Commission's rules requires that an EAS 
Participant notify the Commission by email within 24 hours of its 
discovery that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to 
the public, including details concerning the event. We believe that it 
would be in the public interest to strengthen this rule in view of the 
increasing threats that cyber attacks pose to EAS networks and 
equipment. Accordingly, we propose to revise this rule to further 
require that an EAS Participant report any incident of unauthorized 
access of its EAS equipment (i.e., regardless of whether that 
compromise has resulted in the transmission of a false alert), to the 
Commission via NORS within 72 hours of when it knew or should have 
known that an incident has occurred and provide details concerning the 
incident. We seek comment on this proposal.
    76. We observe that protecting EAS equipment alone is unlikely to 
be sufficient to protect the EAS from a cyber attack. Even without 
directly accessing an EAS Participant's EAS equipment, a bad actor 
could send a false alert or prevent a legitimate alert with lifesaving 
information from reaching the public by gaining unauthorized access to 
EAS Participants' communications systems and services. For this reason, 
we also propose to require that an EAS Participant report any incident 
of unauthorized access to any aspects of an EAS Participant's 
communications systems and services that potentially could affect their 
provision of EAS. This would include infrastructure that serves to 
prevent unauthorized access to EAS equipment, including firewalls and 
Virtual Private Networks. We seek comment on this proposal and on any 
suitable alternatives.
    77. We believe the proposed rule is justified in light of the 
instances of false EAS alerts in recent years, caused by compromised 
EAS equipment being used to transmit a false message. As recounted 
above, we are aware of several situations in the past decade in which 
bad actors were either capable of obtaining, or actually obtained 
unauthorized access to EAS equipment. We seek comment on these views. 
Are there any other past or present security incidents involving EAS 
about which the Commission should be aware? Does unauthorized access to 
EAS equipment provide bad actors with the ability to disrupt EAS 
Participants' regularly scheduled programming, which has the potential 
to inflict financial harm in relation to their advertisers and 
reputational harm with their audiences? Are there any other kinds of 
harms resulting from unauthorized access to EAS equipment that the 
Commission should consider?
    78. We believe significant public safety benefits would accrue if 
EAS Participants were required to provide the Commission with 
notification that their EAS equipment, communications systems, or 
services have been accessed without authorization, even in the absence 
of a subsequent transmission of a false alert. This view is based on 
our observation that, after a system is compromised, many attackers 
will position themselves to attack connected systems in several 
different ways. For example, we have observed that it is characteristic 
of some cyber attacks that an attacker will start by compromising one 
device and then, prior to launching a specific attack, spend time and 
effort to identify and compromise other devices in the network, 
potentially using the initially comprised device as an access point to 
other devices. The Commission could use the proposed notifications to 
work with providers and other government agencies to resolve an 
equipment compromise before the compromise is actually exploited to 
cause false EAS transmissions in at least some instances. We further 
believe that the Commission could leverage information on the frequency 
and nature of equipment compromise to better understand the prevalence 
and trends associated such attacks across the nation. The Commission 
and its government partners would thus be better apprised of the risks 
posed to EAS and in a position to use this information to inform 
further measures that might be necessary to secure EAS.
    79. We seek comment on these views, including detailed information 
as to the associated costs and benefits of the proposed approach. For 
example, what would be a reasonable estimate of the financial harm that 
such a cyber attack would inflict upon an EAS Participant, and how 
should such estimates be calculated? We believe the cost of reporting 
an unauthorized access incident would tend to be similar to the cost of 
reporting a false alert, which the Commission has estimated to have a 
total cost of $11,600 per year across all EAS Participants. We seek 
comment on that estimate. Are EAS Participants already conducting 
investigations and gathering information about suspected incidents of 
unauthorized access to EAS equipment, communications systems, and 
services? Are there less costly alternatives to an unauthorized access 
reporting requirement that would achieve similar or greater benefits? 
We believe that the marginal costs of an unauthorized access reporting 
requirement are likely to be low, as the requirement parallels the 
requirements of an upcoming CISA rulemaking. Specifically, CISA is 
required by the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure 
Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) to adopt rules requiring critical infrastructure 
sector entities to report cyber incidents, but allows the requirement 
to be satisfied by reporting substantially similar information to 
another federal agency in a similar timeframe. We seek comment on that 
belief.
    80. We propose to define ``unauthorized access'' to EAS equipment, 
communications systems, and services for the purposes of today's 
proposal to refer to any incident involving either remote or local 
access to EAS equipment, communications systems, or services by an 
individual or other entity that either does not have permission to 
access the equipment or exceeds their authorized access. We seek 
comment on this definition. For example, does this proposed definition 
mirror the methods that have been, and are likely to be, used by cyber-
attackers to infiltrate EAS? We seek comment on whether it is 
appropriate to require that

[[Page 71551]]

EAS Participants provide notification to the Commission within 72 hours 
of when they knew or should have known that an incident has occurred. 
Is this time frame appropriate or would it, for example, put undue 
pressure on EAS Participants at a critical time when they may be 
attempting to fully diagnose and resolve the compromise to their 
systems? On the other hand, is this time frame too slow to provide the 
Commission and government partners with timely notice of an incident? 
For example, consistent with the NORS reporting deadlines for 
interconnected VoIP outages, should the Commission be notified within 
24 hours of a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred? In the 
alternative, should we require EAS Participants to provide notification 
to the Commission within 72 hours of ``its reasonable belief that an 
incident has occurred,'' consistent with the approach to cyber incident 
reporting outlined by CIRCIA? Or, would this approach create 
disincentives for a provider to monitor the security of its own 
network? Would any alternative approach be more effective? Similar to 
what is contemplated by CIRCIA, should EAS Participants be required to 
submit updates to the Commission if substantial new or different 
information becomes available, until the date that the Commission is 
notified that the incident has concluded and been fully mitigated and 
resolved? Is the overall approach we propose today consistent with the 
incident reporting requirements of other federal and state government 
agencies, and if not, how should our proposal be harmonized to be more 
consistent with those requirements?
    81. We seek comment on the kinds of information that should be 
included in reports of unauthorized access. We propose that reports 
include, to the extent it is applicable and available at the time of 
reporting, the date range of the incident, a description of the 
unauthorized access, the impact to the EAS Participant's EAS 
operational readiness, a description of the vulnerabilities exploited 
and the techniques used to access the device, identifying information 
for each actor responsible for the incident, and contact information 
for the EAS Participant. We believe this information is necessary to 
understand the unauthorized access incident, resolve it before the 
compromise is actually exploited to send a false alert, and harmonize 
our requirements with those of other federal agencies. We seek comment 
on the proposed content of these reports and whether it should be 
modified. We propose that the contents of these reports be treated as 
presumptively confidential and only shared on a confidential basis with 
other Federal agencies and state government agencies that agree to 
protect them to the same extent and in the same manner as the 
Commission would and, to the extent that the policies or regulations of 
those agencies are stricter, to the same extent and in the same manner 
as they would if they had collected the information themselves. We also 
propose to allow disclosure by the Commission, or by parties with whom 
the Commission has shared the notifications, of anonymized information 
about breaches that might be useful for industry, security researchers, 
policymakers, and the general public. We seek comment on this approach 
to cyber incident information sharing.
    82. We seek comment on how these reports should be submitted to the 
Commission. Should they be submitted to the FCC Operation Center by 
email, in similar fashion to the false alert reports that EAS 
Participants are already required to file with the Commission? Should 
these reports be submitted in NORS to better capture the required 
contents in clearly defined fields and more easily facilitate sharing 
with federal partners? Or should we develop a new electronic database 
to collect the content of the reports? Are there other approaches we 
should consider? What are the costs and benefits associated with each 
approach? We seek comment on whether Participating CMS Providers should 
also be required to report incidents of unauthorized access to their 
WEA systems, or services. Similar to EAS, we believe that such a 
requirement would allow the Commission and its government partners to 
better identify and evaluate risks posed to EAS and inform further 
measures that might be necessary to secure WEA. Should reports be 
required in the same timeframe and with the same content as proposed 
for EAS? Are there any differences between EAS and WEA that would 
warrant differing unauthorized access reporting requirements for WEA? 
If so, what are those differences and how should the requirements be 
modified to reflect them?

C. Protecting the Nation's Alerting Systems Through the Development, 
Implementation, and Certification of a Cybersecurity Risk Management 
Plan

1. EAS Security
    83. As discussed above, the EAS has faced cybersecurity risks for 
more than a decade, with PSHSB regularly advising EAS Participants to 
follow cybersecurity best practices and take other steps to improve 
their cybersecurity posture. Despite these admonitions, however, we 
have not observed meaningful security improvements. For example, PSHSB 
has frequently advised EAS Participants to update their EAS software to 
ensure that they have installed the most recent security patches, 
including one such round of outreach in 2020 after the discovery that 
certain EAS equipment was potentially vulnerable to IP-based attacks. 
However, in filings related to the Nationwide EAS Test in August 2021, 
the Bureau observed that more than 5,000 EAS Participants were using 
outdated software or using equipment that no longer supported regular 
software updates. In light of these failures, we believe the Commission 
should take action to ensure the security of EAS.
    84. We propose to require EAS Participants to submit an annual 
certification attesting that they have created, updated, and 
implemented a cybersecurity risk management plan. The cybersecurity 
risk management plan would describe how the EAS Participant employs 
their organizational resources and processes to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the EAS. The plan must 
discuss how the EAS Participant identifies the cyber risks that they 
face, the controls they use to mitigate those risks, and how they 
ensure that these controls are applied effectively to their operations. 
We believe that this certification requirement would improve the 
overall security of EAS by ensuring that EAS Participants are regularly 
taking steps to address security threats as part of their 
organization's day-to-day strategic and operational planning. We also 
believe the creation and implementation of cybersecurity risk 
management plans would help to ensure EAS operational readiness and 
eliminate false alerts, which divert public safety and other government 
resources from other important activities, impose costs on EAS 
Participants that have to deal with many of the consequences and, 
ultimately, desensitize the public to legitimate alerts. We seek 
comment on this proposal. Do stakeholders agree this proposal would 
improve the security of the EAS? Are there other benefits that may 
accrue from the creation and implementation of cybersecurity risk 
management plans by EAS Participants? Is an annual certification the 
right frequency with which to file certifications, or are there 
circumstances

[[Page 71552]]

where more (or less) frequent filings might be necessary?
    85. We propose to afford each EAS Participant flexibility to 
structure its plan in a manner that is tailored to its organization, 
provided that the plan demonstrate that the EAS Participant is taking 
affirmative steps to analyze security risks and improve its security 
posture. While we believe there are many ways for EAS Participants to 
satisfy this requirement, we propose that EAS Participants can 
successfully demonstrate that they have satisfied this requirement by 
structuring their plans to follow an established risk management 
framework, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology 
(NIST) Risk Management Framework or the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. 
We believe this flexible approach would allow EAS Participants to 
develop a plan that is appropriate for their organization's size and 
available resources, while still ensuring that the plan results in 
ongoing and material improvements in EAS security. We also anticipate 
that this requirement would reduce the costs imposed on smaller EAS 
Participants, which may have different cybersecurity needs than larger 
EAS Participants. We seek comment on this proposal. Alternatively, 
should we require EAS Participants to structure their plans to follow 
the NIST Risk Management Framework or the NIST Cybersecurity Framework? 
If so, should we require EAS Participants to follow the current version 
of each framework (i.e., Risk Management Framework for Information 
Systems and Organizations, NIST Special Publication 800-37, Revision 2; 
NIST Cybersecurity Framework V1.1)? If we take this approach, we 
anticipate that NIST may one day release updated versions of these 
frameworks, and we would then expect to seek notice and comment on 
whether we should require EAS Participants to follow the updated 
versions. We seek comment on this approach.
    86. We propose that each cybersecurity risk management framework 
include security controls sufficient to ensure the confidentiality, 
integrity, and availability (CIA) of the EAS. We expect that reasonable 
security measures will include measures that are commonly the subject 
of best practices. While we believe there are potentially many ways for 
EAS Participants to satisfy this aspect of the requirement, we propose 
that EAS Participants will have satisfied it if they demonstrate they 
have successfully implemented an established set of cybersecurity best 
practices, such as applicable CIS Critical Security Controls or the 
CISA Cybersecurity Baseline. To ensure that every EAS Participant 
implements a baseline of security controls, however, we propose to 
require that each plan include security measures that address changing 
default passwords prior to operation, installing security updates in a 
timely manner, securing equipment behind properly configured firewalls 
or using other segmentation practices, requiring multifactor 
authentication where applicable, addressing the replacement of end-of-
life equipment, and wiping, clearing, or encrypting user information 
before disposing of old devices. We expect that compliant cybersecurity 
risk management plans will not be limited to only these specific 
measures, as plans will vary based on individual providers' needs and 
circumstances and will need regular updates to keep up with an evolving 
threat environment. We seek comment on these proposed rules. Are there 
other specific security measures that we should require EAS 
Participants to implement? For example, should we require EAS 
Participants to conduct network security audits or vulnerability 
assessments to identify potential security vulnerabilities? If so, how 
often should they be conducted? Should we require EAS Participants to 
report to the Commission when their network audits, network 
vulnerability assessments, or penetration testing reports reveal 
critical vulnerabilities? If so, how should we define a ``critical 
vulnerability'' for this purpose? Should we require EAS Participants to 
implement Incident Response Plans that describe how the procedures that 
EAS Participants would follow when respond to an ongoing cybersecurity 
incident? Should we require EAS Participants to conduct cybersecurity 
training for their employees or contractors and if so, what should the 
contents of that training be? What kinds of security measures have EAS 
Participants already implemented to protect the EAS, and how effective 
are they at mitigating cybersecurity risks? Should we require EAS 
Participants to keep records that demonstrate how they have implemented 
each of the baseline security controls? If so, what specific types of 
information should the records include and for how long should they be 
kept? Have EAS Participants identified unsuccessful attempts to access 
their systems, and if so, what specific security measures best thwarted 
those attempts?
    87. Does this approach strike the appropriate balance between 
improving EAS security, complementing EAS Participants' existing 
cybersecurity activities, and reducing burdens on small EAS 
Participants? If not, how should this requirement be modified to 
achieve that balance? We seek comment on whether this approach grants 
too much flexibility and will not result in improvements to EAS 
security. We also seek comment on alternative approaches that would be 
effective at improving EAS security. For example, should we require EAS 
Participants to address a specified list of cybersecurity subject 
matters in their risk management plans? Instead of requiring the use of 
a risk management plan, should we require EAS Participants to take 
specific steps to secure their EAS equipment? If so, could such a 
requirement be drafted in a way to encourage EAS Participants to 
continually examine and improve their cybersecurity posture, rather 
than merely check items off a list? Is our proposed certification 
requirement too burdensome on small EAS Participants? If so, what would 
be a more cost-effective way to promote EAS security for small EAS 
Participants?
    88. We observe that protecting EAS equipment alone is unlikely to 
be sufficient to protect the EAS from a cyber attack. In addition to 
the risk of a bad actor sending a false alert, a bad actor could attack 
other elements of an EAS Participant's systems or service as a way to 
prevent a legitimate alert with lifesaving information from reaching 
the public. For this reason, we propose to require that the 
cybersecurity risk management plan address not only the security of EAS 
equipment, but also the security of all aspects of an EAS Participant's 
communications systems and services that potentially could affect their 
provision of EAS. We seek comment on this requirement. Are there 
alternative requirements that we should consider to ensure that bad 
actors cannot prevent the transmission of legitimate alerts (or engage 
in the transmission of false ones)?
    89. We seek comment on whether there are industry groups, 
cybersecurity organizations, or other organizations that may be 
positioned to help EAS Participants create, implement, and maintain 
their cybersecurity risk management plan. What kinds of resources do 
these organizations offer, and how can EAS Participants make use of 
them? For example, are there organizations that offer, or that would be 
able to begin offering, authoritative sources of cybersecurity 
information and expertise? Are there organizations that can support EAS 
Participants by offering cybersecurity training, risk management plan 
templates, or otherwise promote the cybersecurity? If so, to what 
extent can these

[[Page 71553]]

organizations help reduce the burdens related to the proposed 
certification requirement and make EAS more secure?
    90. We propose that EAS Participants certify to creating, annually 
updating, and implementing a cybersecurity risk management plan by 
checking a box as part of its annual filing of EAS Test Reporting 
System Form One. We seek comment on whether this is the most efficient 
way to implement a certification requirement for EAS Participants. If 
not, how should the certification be implemented? While the Commission 
does not intend to review each individual plan for sufficiency, we 
propose that the cybersecurity risk management plan be made available 
to the Commission upon request so that the Commission may review a 
specific plan as needed or proactively review a sample of EAS 
Participants' plans to ensure that they are sufficient to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the EAS. In such 
circumstances, cybersecurity risk management plans would be treated as 
presumptively confidential. We propose to delegate to the Bureau the 
authority to request review of such cybersecurity risk management plans 
and to evaluate them for sufficiency. We seek comment on this approach 
to evaluating plans. For how long we should require EAS Participants to 
retain prior versions of their cybersecurity risk management plans to 
enable the Bureau's review?
    91. We propose that the filing of, and subsequent compliance with, 
a cybersecurity risk management plan would not serve as a safe harbor 
or excuse or any other diminishment of responsibility for negligent 
security practices. We believe that allowing the filing of and 
compliance with a plan to have such an effect could create a perverse 
incentive. EAS Participants must remain constantly vigilant in 
preventing intrusions and can only satisfy that responsibility by 
acting reasonably in all circumstances. Any negligence in protecting 
the confidentially, integrity, and availability of EAS that results in 
transmission of false alerts or non-transmission of valid EAS messages 
would establish a violation of that duty, regardless of the content of 
the plan. Furthermore, we propose that an EAS Participant's failure to 
sufficiently develop or implement their plan, would be treated as a 
violation of the proposed rules. We seek comment on the criteria or 
indicia that we should consider when determining whether a plan is 
insufficient to mitigate cyber risk. We also seek comment on any 
measures that the Commission should take to verify whether EAS 
Participants have implemented of their plans.
    92. We believe that the benefits of this proposal outweigh the 
costs. While we believe that it is impossible to quantify the precise 
dollar value of improvements to the public's safety, life, and health, 
as a general matter, we nonetheless believe that very substantial 
public safety benefits will result from the rules we propose today: EAS 
will be better able to ensure that real alerts with lifesaving 
information are successfully delivered to the public and false alerts 
are prevented in order to preserve public trust and better ensure that 
the public takes appropriate action during real emergencies. As a 
consequence, we anticipate that the rule changes we adopt today will 
yield substantial life-saving benefits. Independent of that analysis, 
the Commission has previously found that ``a foreign adversary's access 
to American communications networks could result in hostile actions to 
disrupt and surveil our communications networks, impacting our nation's 
economy generally and online commerce specifically, and result in the 
breach of confidential data.'' Consistent with the Commission's past 
analysis, our national gross domestic product was nearly $23 trillion 
last year, adjusting for inflation. Accordingly, if creating and 
implementing a cybersecurity risk management plan prevents even a 
0.005% disruption to our economy, we believe our proposed requirement 
would generate $1.15 billion in benefits. Likewise, the digital economy 
accounted for $3.31 trillion of our economy in 2020, and so we believe 
preventing a disruption of even 0.05% would produce benefits of $1.66 
billion. As a check on our analysis, consider the impact of existing 
malicious cyber activity on the U.S. economy: $57 billion to $109 
billion in 2016. Given the incentives and documented actions of hostile 
nation-state actors, reducing this activity (or preventing an expansion 
of such damage) by even 1% would produce benefits of $0.57 billion to 
$1.09 billion. Given this analysis, we believe the benefits of our rule 
to the American economy, commerce, and consumers are likely to 
significantly and substantially outweigh the costs of the proposed 
certification requirement. We seek comment on this analysis. Is there a 
more appropriate way to quantify these benefits? Are there any 
additional ways in which the proposed rules would benefit the public 
that the Commission should consider?
    93. We estimate that the overall cost of our proposed cybersecurity 
risk management plan requirement will be approximately $21 million. We 
believe that EAS Participants will, on average, require 10 hours 
annually to initially draft a plan and then update the plan and submit 
their certification annually. When developing this average we 
anticipate that many large EAS Participants already have cybersecurity 
risk management plans and will incur only de minimis costs to comply 
with this requirement. We also anticipate that many small EAS 
Participants will require less than 10 hours to develop or update a 
plan that is appropriate to the size of their organization. Based on 
this estimate, we believe that the overall cost for 25,644 EAS 
Participants to comply with the proposed certification requirement with 
10 hours of labor from a General and Operations Manager who is 
compensated at $82 per hour will be $21,028,080. We seek comment on our 
analysis.
2. WEA Security
    94. We propose to require Participating CMS Providers to certify 
that they are creating, annually updating, and implementing a 
cybersecurity risk management plan. As discussed above, WEA also faces 
security risks related to the transmission of false alerts and 
compromise of a Participating CMS Providers' systems could disrupt the 
transmission of a legitimate WEA message. Are there additional 
cybersecurity risks to WEA about which we should be aware? To what 
extent do Participating CMS Providers already have cybersecurity risk 
management plans? We believe that the approach we propose above in the 
context of EAS--wherein we would afford flexibility for providers to 
assess what content should be in their cybersecurity risk management 
plans while proposing that it demonstrate how the provider identifies 
the cyber risks that they face, the controls they use to mitigate those 
risks, and how they ensure that these controls are applied effectively 
to their operations--lends itself to WEA as well. We seek comment on 
this tentative conclusion. Are there any fundamental differences in the 
transmission of WEA alerts or the threats that WEA faces that would 
require a different approach to ensuring WEA's security? We seek 
comment on the least burdensome means by which Participating CMS 
Providers could submit their certification to the Commission, including 
via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System, a designated 
Commission email address, or a WEA-specific database designed for this 
purpose.
    95. As with the EAS, we propose that a cybersecurity risk 
management plan

[[Page 71554]]

should include security controls sufficient to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of WEA. We propose 
sufficient security measures could be demonstrated by implementing 
controls like the CISA Cybersecurity Baseline or appropriate CIS 
Implementation Group. As with EAS Participants as described above we 
propose to require that each plan include a baseline of security 
measures that address changing default passwords prior to operation, 
installing security updates in a timely manner, securing equipment 
behind properly configured firewalls or using other segmentation 
practices, requiring multifactor authentication where applicable, 
addressing the replacement of end-of-life equipment, and wiping, 
clearing, or encrypting user information before disposing of old 
devices. We expect that compliant cybersecurity risk management plans 
will not be limited to only these specific measures, as plans will need 
regular updates to keep up with an evolving threat environment. We seek 
comment on these proposed rules. Are there specific security measures 
that we should require Participating CMS Providers to implement? For 
example, as above, we seek comment on whether we should require 
Participating CMS Providers to conduct network security audits or 
vulnerability assessments to identify potential security 
vulnerabilities, implement Incident Response Plans that describe the 
procedures that Participating CMS Providers would follow when 
responding to an ongoing cybersecurity incident, or require 
Participating CMS Providers to conduct cybersecurity training for their 
employees or contractors.
    96. We believe that the benefits of this proposal for WEA outweighs 
the costs. As discussed above for EAS, we believe that the rules we 
propose today would better ensure that real WEA alerts with lifesaving 
information are successfully delivered to the public and false alerts 
are prevented in order to preserve public trust and better ensure that 
the public takes appropriate action during real emergencies. We 
estimate that the overall cost of our proposed cybersecurity risk 
management plan requirement will be approximately $62,320. We 
anticipate that many large Participating CMS Providers already have 
cybersecurity risk management plans and will incur only de minimis 
costs to comply with this requirement. We also anticipate that many 
small Participating CMS Providers will require less than 10 hours to 
develop or update a plan that is appropriate to the size of their 
organization. Based on this estimate, we believe that the overall cost 
for 76 Participating CMS Providers to comply with the proposed 
certification requirement with 10 hours of labor from a General and 
Operations Manager who is compensated at $82 per hour will be $62,320. 
We seek comment on this analysis. To what extent do Participating CMS 
Providers already implement a cybersecurity risk management framework? 
Are there alternatives that would be as effective but less burdensome, 
particularly to smaller providers? As with EAS above, we seek comment 
on whether there are industry groups, cybersecurity organizations, or 
other organizations that may be positioned to help Participating CMS 
providers create, implement, and maintain their cybersecurity risk 
management plans. What kinds of resources do these organizations offer, 
and how can Participating CMS providers make use of them?
    97. We seek comment on whether there are other categories of 
communications service providers (e.g., services that support 911 
calling) to which a cybersecurity risk management plan certification 
requirement should apply. Like emergency alerting, 911 is part of the 
nation's emergency services critical infrastructure. Similarly, like 
the nation's alert and warning capability, 911 service has faced 
instances of compromise by cyberattacks, and is regularly under threat. 
In light of those threats, should services that support 911 calling 
also be required to annually certify to creating, updating, and 
implementing cybersecurity risk management plans? If so, are there 
differences between emergency alerting and 911 that would warrant 
changes to the risk management plan requirements we propose today, if 
applied to services that support 911 calling? Are the benefits and 
costs of such a requirement commensurate with the benefits and costs of 
certification as described above?

D. Displaying Only Valid WEA Messages on Mobile Devices

    98. False alerts, such as the false ballistic missile alert that 
the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accidentally sent during a 
training exercise in 2018, can cause panic, confusion, and damage the 
credibility of WEA. While that false alert was sent accidentally, bad 
actors could potentially exploit known WEA vulnerabilities to 
intentionally send false alerts to the public. The Commission's rules 
require Participating CMS Providers' network infrastructure to 
authenticate interactions with mobile devices and require mobile 
devices to authenticate interactions with CMS Provider infrastructure. 
In practice, however, the security handshake between Participating CMS 
Providers and mobile devices does not include a process for mobile 
devices to ensure that the base station to which it attaches is valid. 
As a result, mobile devices that are not actively engaged with a valid 
base station are vulnerable to receiving and presenting false alerts. 
This threat exists when a mobile device attempts authentication with 
the provider, switches base stations, or returns to active from idle 
mode.
    99. Accordingly, we propose to require Participating CMS Providers 
transmit sufficient authentication information to allow mobile devices 
to present WEA alerts only if they come from valid base stations. 
Ongoing work in international standards bodies suggests that 
Participating CMS Providers could achieve this outcome by transmitting 
sufficient authentication information to allow mobile devices to 
authenticate either the alert or the base station itself. For example, 
Participating CMS Providers could provide for authentication of the 
base station using a unique identifier or an encryption key. To what 
extent do Participating CMS Providers already uniquely identify 
legitimate base stations with a selection of base station 
characteristics to defend against denial-of-service attacks and fraud 
(i.e., through base station fingerprinting)? Could Participating CMS 
Providers leverage base station fingerprinting to protect the public 
from false WEA alerts through updates to WEA standards and mobile 
device firmware? Alternatively, or in addition, could WEA-capable 
mobile devices receive an appropriate encryption key from the network 
and then use that key to confirm either that an alert is authentic or 
that the base station transmitting it is authentic before presenting 
the alert? Should our rules prohibit CMS Providers and equipment 
manufacturers from marketing devices as WEA-capable unless they have 
these technical capabilities?
    100. We seek comment on the trade-offs attendant to available 
technological approaches to protecting the public from false alerts. 
Could implementation of these approaches affect the ability of non-
service initialized WEA-capable mobile devices, SIM-less WEA-capable 
mobile devices, or mobile devices that are no longer contractually 
associated with a CMS Provider to receive WEA alerts depending on the 
handset technology or generation of wireless network used? If so, how 
could the

[[Page 71555]]

Commission mitigate these potential drawbacks by refining its proposed 
rules? To the extent that technological solutions have been 
implemented, is it still possible for a false alert of this type to be 
displayed on mobile devices, and if so, under what conditions? What 
steps could be taken to further minimize or eliminate these kinds of 
false alerts?
    101. We estimate that Participating CMS Providers would incur a 
$14.5 million one-time cost to update the WEA standards and software 
necessary to comply with this requirement. This figure consists of 
approximately a $814,000 cost to update applicable WEA standards and 
approximately a $13.7 million cost to update applicable software. We 
quantify the cost of modifying standards as the annual compensation for 
30 network engineers compensated at the national average for their 
field ($120,650/year; $58/hour), plus annual benefits ($60,325/year; 
29/hour) working for the amount of time that it takes to develop a 
standard (one hour every other week for one year, 26 hours) for 12 
distinct standards. We quantify the cost of modifying software as the 
annual compensation for a software developer compensated at the 
national average for their field ($120,990/year), plus annual benefits 
($60,495/year) working for the amount of time that it takes to develop 
software (one year) at each of the 76 CMS Providers that participate in 
WEA. We seek comment on these cost estimates and the underlying cost 
methodology we are using. We also seek comment on any other costs and 
benefits that would result from this proposal. Incidents of false WEA 
alerts can cause significant confusion and diminish the public's trust 
in emergency alerts. For example, what harms could arise if an invalid 
base station sends a false alert to attendees to a public event, such 
as a parade or sporting event? For each technological approach 
considered, we urge commenters to address its effectiveness and cost of 
implementation, any additional latency that the measure could introduce 
into the delivery of WEA alerts, and the potential for the security 
measure to result in the suppression of legitimate alert content.

E. WEA Infrastructure Functionality

    102. Pursuant to the WARN Act, CMS Providers' participation in WEA 
is voluntary, but CMS Providers that elect to participate in WEA must 
comply with all the WEA rules. The WEA rules provide that WEA 
functionality, both in Participating CMS Providers' networks and in 
mobile devices, ``are dependent upon the capabilities of the delivery 
technologies implemented by a Participating CMS Provider'' and certain 
WEA protocols ``are defined and controlled by each Participating CMS 
Provider.'' The inclusion of these statements may create the mistaken 
impression that Participating CMS Providers' compliance with the rules 
that follow, including the base station authentication rules we propose 
today, would be conditioned on the Participating CMS Providers' 
delivery technology. Emergency management agencies expect WEA to work 
as intended and when needed, and this language unintentionally could 
create uncertainties about the quality of WEA service that 
Participating CMS Providers offer. For these reasons, the Commission 
proposed to remove this language from the WEA rules in 2016. T-Mobile, 
ATIS, and CTIA, the only three commenters addressing this proposal, 
urged the Commission not to adopt it because ``the rules should 
maximize the technological flexibility of CMS Providers participating 
in WEA.'' In the ten years since WEA's deployment, however, 
Participating CMS Providers have coalesced around cell broadcast as the 
wireless technology used to transmit WEA alerts to capable mobile 
devices, and ATIS has standardized system performance.
    103. Accordingly, we seek to refresh the record on our proposal to 
remove these statements from the WEA rules. We believe these provisions 
introduce confusion and are unnecessary, particularly as we do not 
expect that any Participating CMS Provider would need to make changes 
to their WEA service as a result of this proposed amendment. We seek 
comment on this proposal, particularly from any CMS Provider that would 
need to make changes to their WEA offerings in the event that the rules 
were so amended.

F. Promoting Digital Equity

    104. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to advance 
digital equity for all, including people of color, persons with 
disabilities, persons who live in rural or Tribal areas, and others who 
are or have been historically underserved, marginalized, or adversely 
affected by persistent poverty or inequality, invites comment on any 
equity-related considerations and benefits (if any) that may be 
associated with the proposals and issues discussed herein. 
Specifically, we seek comment on how our proposals may promote or 
inhibit advances in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, as 
well the scope of the Commission's relevant legal authority.

G. Compliance Timeframes

    105. Promoting the Operational Readiness of EAS Equipment. To the 
extent that we adopt requirements to improve the operational readiness 
of EAS, we seek comment on when those rules should go into effect. For 
example, if we were to adopt rules to hasten or improve the 
Commission's visibility into the repair or replacement of non-
operational EAS equipment, should those rules go into effect 30 days 
from publication in the Federal Register of notice that the Office of 
Management and Budget has completed its review of the modified 
information collection? What factors should we consider when 
determining when alternative operational readiness requirements should 
go into effect?
    106. Improving Awareness of Unauthorized Access to EAS Equipment. 
We propose that the revision of Sec.  11.45 to require EAS Participants 
to report any incident of unauthorized access of their EAS equipment 
would be effective 60 days from publication in the Federal Register of 
notice that the Office of Management and Budget has completed its 
review of the modified information collection. We seek comment on this 
proposed timeframe. In the NDAA21 R&O, the Commission required EAS 
Participants to report false alerts to the Commission and, in a 
subsequent Public Notice, announced a compliance deadline approximately 
60 days from publication in the Federal Register of notice that the 
Office of Management and Budget has approved the modified information 
collection. We seek comment on whether an EAS Participant's process for 
ascertaining whether an incident of unauthorized access of its EAS 
equipment has occurred and reporting it to the Commission entails a 
level of effort comparable to compliance with the Commission's false 
alert reporting requirement. Would EAS Participants' compliance with 
the Commission's false alert reporting requirement reduce the 
incremental burden of compliance with this proposal?
    107. Certifying to the Implementation of Cybersecurity Risk 
Management Plans. We propose that EAS Participants and Participating 
CMS Providers must certify to the implementation of a cybersecurity 
risk management plan that includes measures sufficient to ensure the 
confidentiality, integrity, and reliability of their respective 
alerting systems within 12 months of the publication in the Federal 
Register of notice that the Office of Management and Budget has 
completed its review of the modified information collection. A

[[Page 71556]]

12-month timeframe would be intended to provide time for EAS 
Participants that do not already have a risk management plan in place 
to create one, including by preparing the organization to manage 
security and privacy risks, categorizing the systems and the 
information that it processes, stores, and transmits, and selecting 
controls to protect the system. A 12-month timeframe could also provide 
time to implement the security controls that the plan describes, assess 
whether the controls are in place, operating as intended, and producing 
the desired results, appoint a senior official to authorize the system, 
and develop mechanisms to continuously monitor control implementation 
and risks to the system. We seek comment on these proposals. Should we 
offer EAS Participants and Participating CMS Providers who are small 
businesses an additional 12 months to comply with this requirement, 
with compliance required within 24 months of publication in the Federal 
Register of notice that the Office of Management and Budget has 
completed its review of the modified information collection? Is there 
any reason why EAS and Participating CMS Providers should have 
different implementation timeframes?
    108. Displaying Only Valid WEA Messages on Mobile Devices. We 
propose that CMS Providers transmit sufficient authentication 
information to allow mobile devices to present WEA alerts only if they 
come from valid base stations 30 months from the publication of these 
rules in the Federal Register. The record in our WEA proceedings 
supports the premise that Participating CMS Providers require 12 months 
to work through appropriate industry bodies to publish relevant 
standards, another 12 months for Participating CMS Providers and mobile 
device manufacturers to develop, test, and integrate software upgrades 
consistent with those standards, and then 6 more months to deploy this 
new technology to the field during normal technology refresh cycles. We 
seek comment on the applicability of this approach and timeframe, with 
which Participating CMS Providers have experience, to this proposal. We 
seek comment, in the alternative, on whether the urgent public safety 
need to protect the public from false alerts necessitates an expedited 
compliance timeframe and, if so, what that compliance timeframe should 
be.
    109. WEA Infrastructure Functionality. We propose to remove 
language from our WEA infrastructure and mobile device rules effective 
30 days after the rules' publication in the Federal Register. We do not 
believe that Participating CMS Providers will need to make any changes 
to comply with these rules as revised because they offer a WEA service 
that is consistent with the rules as otherwise written. We seek comment 
on this compliance timeframe and on this view.

III. Ordering Clauses

    110. Accordingly, it is ordered that pursuant to sections 1, 2, 
4(i), 4(n), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 303(v), 307, 309, 335, 403, 
624(g), and 706 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(n), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 303(v), 
307, 309, 335, 403, 544(g), and 606; The Warning, Alert and Response 
Network (WARN) Act, WARN Act sections 602(a), (b), (c), (f), 603, 604, 
and 606, 47 U.S.C. 1202(a), (b), (c), (f), 1203, 1204 and 1206; the 
Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, Public Law 106-
81, 47 U.S.C. 615, 615a, 615b; Section 202 of the Twenty-First Century 
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 613, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby ADOPTED.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 10

    Communications common carriers, Radio.

47 CFR Part 11

    Radio, Television.

Federal Communications Commission
Marlene Dortch,
Secretary.

Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in this preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 10 and 11 as 
follows:

PART 10--WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 10 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i) and (o), 201, 303(r), 403, and 
606, 1202(a), (b), (c), (f), 1203, 1204, and 1206.

0
2. Revise Sec.  10.330 to read as follows:


Sec.  10.330  Provider infrastructure requirements.

    This section specifies the general functions that a Participating 
CMS Provider is required to perform within its infrastructure.
    (a) Distribution of Alert Messages to mobile devices.
    (b) Authentication of interactions with mobile devices, including 
the transmission of sufficient authentication information to allow 
mobile devices to only present WEA alerts from valid base stations.
    (c) Reference Points D & E. Reference Point D is the interface 
between a CMS Provider gateway and its infrastructure. Reference Point 
E is the interface between a provider's infrastructure and mobile 
devices including air interfaces.
0
3. Add Sec.  10.360 to subpart C to read as follows:


Sec.  10.360  Cybersecurity Risk Management Plan Certification.

    (a) Each participating CMS Provider shall submit a certification to 
the Commission that it has created, annually updated, and implemented a 
cybersecurity risk management plan. The cybersecurity risk management 
plan shall describe how the Participating CMS Provider employs its 
organizational resources and processes to ensure the confidentiality, 
integrity, and availability of WEA. The plan shall discuss how the 
Participating CMS Provider identifies the cyber risks that it faces, 
the controls it uses to mitigate those risks, and how it ensures that 
these controls are applied effectively to its operations. The plan 
shall address the security of all aspects of the Participating CMS 
Provider's communications systems and services that potentially could 
affect its provision of WEA messages. The plan shall be made available 
to the Commission upon request.
    (b) Participating CMS Providers shall employ sufficient security 
controls to ensure the confidentially, integrity, and availability of 
the EAS. In furtherance of this requirement, the cybersecurity risk 
management plan shall address, but not be limited to, the following 
security controls:
    (1) Changing default passwords prior to operation;
    (2) Installing security updates in a timely manner;
    (3) Securing equipment behind properly configured firewalls or 
using other segmentation practices;
    (4) Requiring multifactor authentication where applicable;
    (5) Addressing the replacement of end-of-life equipment; and
    (6) Wiping, clearing, or encrypting user information before 
disposing of old devices.
    (c) Participating CMS Providers shall take reasonable measures to 
protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of EAS to 
avoid the transmission of false alerts or non-transmission of valid 
Alert Messages;

[[Page 71557]]

failure to do so shall be, in addition to a violation of any specific 
provisions of this section, Sec.  11.45(a) of this chapter, or Sec.  
10.520(d), an independent breach of this duty.
0
4. Revise Sec.  10.500 introductory text as follows:


Sec.  10.500  General requirements.

    Mobile devices are required to perform the following functions:
* * * * *

PART 11--EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS)

0
5. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 151, 154 (i) and (o), 303(r), 544(g), 606, 
1201, 1206.

0
6. Amend Sec.  11.35 by adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  11.35  Equipment operational readiness.

* * * * *
    (d) Annual EAS Security Certification.
    (1) The identifying information required by the ETRS as specified 
in Sec.  11.61(a)(3)(iv) shall include a Certification to the 
Commission that the EAS Participant has created, annually updated, and 
implemented a cybersecurity risk management plan. The cybersecurity 
risk management plan shall describe how the EAS Participant employs its 
organizational resources and processes to ensure the confidentiality, 
integrity, and availability of the EAS. The plan shall discuss how the 
EAS Participant identifies the cyber risks that its faces, the controls 
it uses to mitigate those risks, and how it ensures that these controls 
are applied effectively to their operations. The plan shall address the 
security of all aspects of an EAS Participant's communications systems 
and services that potentially could affect its provision of EAS 
messages. The plan shall be made available to the Commission upon 
request.
    (2) EAS Participants shall employ sufficient security controls to 
ensure the confidentially, integrity, and availability of the EAS. In 
furtherance of this requirement, the cybersecurity risk management plan 
shall address, but not be limited to, the following security controls:
    (i) Changing default passwords prior to operation;
    (ii) Installing security updates in a timely manner;
    (iii) Securing equipment behind properly configured firewalls or 
using other segmentation practices;
    (iv) Requiring multifactor authentication where applicable;
    (v) Addressing the replacement of end-of-life equipment; and
    (vi) Wiping, clearing, or encrypting user information before 
disposing of old devices.
    (3) EAS Participants shall take reasonable measures to protect the 
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of EAS to avoid the 
transmission of false alerts or non-transmission of valid EAS messages; 
failure to do so shall be, in addition to a violation of any specific 
provisions of this section, Sec.  11.45(a), or Sec.  10.520(d) of this 
chapter, an independent breach of this duty.
0
7. Amend Sec.  11.45 by redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d) 
and adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  11.45  Prohibition of false or deceptive EAS transmissions.

* * * * *
    (c) No later than seventy-two (72) hours after an EAS Participant 
knows or should have known that its EAS equipment, or communications 
systems, or services that potentially could affect their provision of 
EAS, have been accessed in an unauthorized manner, the EAS Participant 
shall provide notification to the Commission identifying, if 
applicable, the date range of the incident, a description of the 
unauthorized access, the impact to the EAS Participant's EAS 
operational readiness, a description of the vulnerabilities exploited 
and the techniques used to access the device, identifying information 
for each actor responsible for the incident, and contact information 
for the EAS Participant. When one event or set of events gives rise to 
obligations under both paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, an EAS 
Participant remains subject to each requirement individually. The 
Participant may elect to send a single notification to the Commission 
within 24 hours providing all the information described in both 
paragraphs or separate notification to the Commission within 24 hours 
and 72 hours.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2022-25263 Filed 11-22-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P