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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
Carson Communications, L.L.C.   )    File No. EB-02-TS-079
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
Axtell, Kansas                  )
Baileyville, Kansas             )
Bern, Kansas                    )
Centralia, Kansas               )
Denison, Kansas                 )
Effingham, Kansas               )
Emmett, Kansas                  )
Fairview, Kansas                )
Frankfort, Kansas               )
Goff, Kansas                    )
Lake Dabinawa, Kansas           )    
Lakewood Hills, Kansas          )
Morrill, Kansas                 )
Muscotah, Kansas                )
Randolph, Kansas                )
Reserve, Kansas                 )
Summerfield, Kansas             )
Vermillion, Kansas              )
Wetmore, Kansas                 )
White Cloud, Kansas             )
Whiting, Kansas                 )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    

Adopted:  May 29, 2002                  Released:  May 31, 2002

By the Chief, Technical  and Public Safety Division,  Enforcement 

1.        In this Order, we  grant Carson Communications,  L.L.C. 
  (``Carson'') temporary,  36-month waivers  for each  of the  21 
  above-captioned cable  television systems  of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'').   Section   11.11(a) 
  requires  cable systems  serving fewer  than 5,000  subscribers 
  from  a headend  to  either provide  national  level  Emergency 
  Alert System (``EAS'')  messages on all programmed channels  or 
  install EAS equipment  and provide a video interrupt and  audio 
  alert  on all  programmed  channels  and EAS  audio  and  video 
  messages  on at  least one  programmed  channel by  October  1, 

2.        The Cable Act of 1992  added new Section 624(g) to  the 
  Communications  Act  of 1934  (``Act''),  which  requires  that 
  cable  systems be  capable of  providing  EAS alerts  to  their 
  subscribers.2  In 1994, the Commission adopted rules  requiring 
  cable systems to participate in EAS.3  In 1997, the  Commission 
  amended the  EAS rules  to provide financial  relief for  small 
  cable systems.4  The Commission declined to exempt small  cable 
  systems  from the  EAS requirements,  concluding that  such  an 
  exemption would be  inconsistent with the statutory mandate  of 
  Section  624(g).5    However,  the   Commission  extended   the 
  deadline   for  cable   systems  serving   fewer  than   10,000 
  subscribers to  begin complying with the  EAS rules to  October 
  1, 2002,  and provided cable systems  serving fewer than  5,000 
  subscribers the option  of either providing national level  EAS 
  messages  on   all  programmed  channels   or  installing   EAS 
  equipment and  providing a video interrupt  and audio alert  on 
  all programmed channels and EAS audio and video messages on  at 
  least  one programmed  channel.6  In  addition, the  Commission 
  stated that  it would grant waivers of  the EAS rules to  small 
  cable  systems  on  a case-by-case  basis  upon  a  showing  of 
  financial  hardship.7   The Commission  indicated  that  waiver 
  requests must contain at least the following information:   (1) 
  justification for the waiver, with reference to the  particular 
  rule sections  for which  a waiver is  sought; (2)  information 
  about the financial status of the requesting entity, such as  a 
  balance sheet and  income statement for the two previous  years 
  (audited, if possible);  (3) the number of other entities  that 
  serve the  requesting entity's coverage area  and that have  or 
  are expected to  install EAS equipment; and (4) the  likelihood 
  (such  as proximity  or frequency)  of hazardous  risks to  the 
  requesting entity's audience.8

3.        Carson filed a request for temporary waiver of  Section 
  11.11(a)  for  each  of  the  21  captioned  cable  systems  on 
  February 27, 2002.9   In support of its waiver request,  Carson 
  states  that  each  of  the  21  systems  serves  small,  rural 
  communities  and  has few  subscribers.   Specifically,  Carson 
  indicates that the 21 systems each serve between eight and  260 
  subscribers,  with 16  of the  systems serving  fewer than  100 
  subscribers.  Based on  price quotes provided by EAS  equipment 
  manufacturers,   Carson   estimates   that   it   would    cost 
  approximately $9,694 to install EAS equipment at each of  these 
  systems  for a  total cost  of $203,574.   Carson asserts  that 
  this cost  will impose a substantial  financial hardship on  it 
  and  provides its  financial statements  for 2000  and 2001  in 
  support of  this assertion.  In  addition, Carson submits  that 
  its subscribers will continue to have ready access to  national 
  EAS  information  from  other  sources,  including  its   cable 
  systems.  In  this regard,  Carson notes  that its  subscribers 
  currently have  access to national EAS  messages on between  45 
  and  78 percent  of  their programmed  channels.   Carson  also 
  asserts  that   its  subscribers  will   have  access  to   EAS 
  information   through  over-the-air   reception  of   broadcast 
  television and radio  stations.  Finally, Carson believes  that 
  it can fund EAS equipment for the 21 systems in the next  three 

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information submitted  by Carson, we  conclude that  temporary, 
  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for these 21 systems  are 
  warranted.10   In  particular,  we  find  that  the   estimated 
  $203,574  cost of  EAS equipment  for  these very  small  cable 
  systems could impose a financial hardship on Carson.  

5.        We note that  the Commission recently  amended the  EAS 
  rules  to  permit  cable  systems  serving  fewer  than   5,000 
  subscribers  to   install  FCC-certified  decoder-only   units, 
  rather  than both  encoders  and  decoders, if  such  a  device 
  becomes  available.11    Based  on   comments  from   equipment 
  manufacturers, we  anticipate that such  a decoder-only  system 
  could  result  in  significant  cost  savings  to  small  cable 

6.        Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  that, pursuant to  Sections 
  0.111,   0.204(b)   and   0.311   of   the   Rules,13    Carson 
  Communications, L.L.C. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the  Rules  until October  1,  2005  for  each  of  the  21 
  captioned cable systems.
7.        IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  that  Carson  Communications, 
  L.L.C. place a copy of this waiver in its system files.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for  Carson Communications,  L.L.C., Christopher  C.  Cinnamon, 
  Esq., Cinnamon Mueller, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite  1020, 
  Chicago, Illinois 60601.


                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief, Technical and Public Safety 
                         Enforcement Bureau

  1 47 C.F.R.  11.11(a).

  2 Cable Television  Consumer Protection and Competition Act  of 
1992, Pub. L. No. 102-385,  16(b), 106 Stat. 1460, 1490  (1992).  
Section 624(g) provides that  ``each cable operator shall  comply 
with such standards as the  Commission shall prescribe to  ensure 
that viewers of video programming  on cable systems are  afforded 
the same emergency  information as is  afforded by the  emergency 
broadcasting system pursuant to Commission regulations ....''  47 
U.S.C.  544(g).  

  3 Amendment  of Part 73, Subpart  G, of the Commission's  Rules 
Regarding the Emergency  Broadcast System, Report  and Order  and 
Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, FO Docket Nos. 91-171/91-
301, 10  FCC  Rcd  1786  (1994)  (``First  Report  and  Order''), 
reconsideration granted in part, denied in part, 10 FCC Rcd 11494 

  4 Amendment  of Part 73, Subpart  G, of the Commission's  Rules 
Regarding the  Emergency  Broadcast  System,  Second  Report  and 
Order, FO  Docket Nos.  91-171/91-301, 12  FCC Rcd  15503  (1997) 
(``Second Report and Order'').

  5 Id. at 15512-13.

  6 Id. at 15516-15518.

  7 Id. at 15513.

  8 Id. at 15513, n. 59.

  9 Carson  notes that it  also has a  cable system in  Hiawatha, 
Kansas, which serves  3,161 subscribers.  Carson  states that  it 
will install EAS equipment at this system by the October 1,  2002 

  10 The  waivers will  extend 36  months from  October 1,  2002, 
until October 1, 2005.  Carson also specifically requested waiver 
of the testing and monitoring  requirements of the EAS rules  for 
the 21 systems.  We clarify that the waivers we are granting also 
encompass the EAS testing and monitoring requirements.  

  11 Amendment  of Part  11 of the  Commission's Rules  Regarding 
the Emergency Alert System,  EB Docket 01-66, FCC  02-64 at   71 
(released February 26, 2002).

  12 One manufacturer  estimated that an EAS decoder-only  system 
can reduce the cost by 64% over what a cable operator would spend 
for an encoder/decoder unit.  Id. at  70.

  13 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.