Comcast Glitch Blocks Weather Coverage For Many Customers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Due to a glitch in Comcast's emergency equipment overnight, many Tennessee residents were unable to get updates on severe weather from local television stations.
During any severe weather Comcast activates their Emergency Alert System to inform customers. As part of the system Comcast momentarily sends all channels to C-SPAN when the alert is over. During storms Tuesday night, customers were unable to change their channels and the Comcast alert did not revert back to normal local programming. This left customers throughout the area without live weather updates for several minutes.
When the glitch occurred, many turned to the Internet to voice their outrage with the issue.
"I didn't like it I would rather hear what the weather people are saying than see that!" said Kristie Holder Coleman.
The government requires these alerts, but local stations across the country are fighting to eliminate these interruptions when they are on the air with potentially life-saving information. Whit Adamson is the president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and said this is problem they have been working on with congressional delegation for years.
"We have sent a letter to Chairman Julius Genachowski of the Federal Communication Commission asking for some help and relief in these rules and regulations to get the local stations opted out," explained Whit Adamson, of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.
Comcast issued this statement Wednesday in response to the glitch:
"The EAS (Emergency Alert System) System is used by State and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as weather information and AMBER alerts to a specific area. The EAS system, is triggered by state and local authorities. Comcast does not control or alter the messages, we only provide the means for it to be shown via our cable system as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
Last night, we experienced an equipment malfunction on the EAS system. We have corrected this and are taking precautions to ensure this does not happen again in the future, and we apologize for any problems this may have caused our customers."
The Tennessee Association of Broadcasters wants to hear from you if you would like to see changes made to this policy. Send them an email with your name, phone number, and the city in which you live. The address is email@example.com.