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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Cunningham Communications, Inc. )    File No. EB-02-TS-067
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Washington, Kansas              )
Hebron, Nebraska                )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

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

By the Chief, Technical  and Public Safety Division,  Enforcement 
Bureau:

1.        In this Order, we grant Cunningham Communications, Inc. 
  (``Cunningham'') temporary waivers  of Section 11.11(a) of  the 
  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'') for  the  two  above-captioned 
  cable television systems.  Specifically, we grant a  temporary, 
  12-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the Washington,  Kansas 
  system and  a temporary,  24-month waiver  of Section  11.11(a) 
  for  the Hebron,  Nebraska system.   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, 
  2002.1

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.        Cunningham filed  a  request for  temporary  waiver  of 
  Section  11.11(a)  for  the  two  captioned  cable  systems  on 
  February 12, 2002.  Cunningham seeks a 12-month waiver for  the 
  Washington,  Kansas  system  and  a  24-month  waiver  for  the 
  Hebron, Nebraska  system.  In  support of  its waiver  request, 
  Cunningham states that these are small cable systems, with  the 
  Washington  system  serving  475  subscribers  and  the  Hebron 
  system  serving  591   subscribers.   Based  on  price   quotes 
  provided by  EAS equipment manufacturers, Cunningham  estimates 
  that  it  would  cost  approximately  $9,500  to  install   EAS 
  equipment  at  each  of these  systems  for  a  total  cost  of 
  $19,000.  Cunningham  states that  it plans  to complete  fiber 
  optic  interconnections of  the Washington  and Hebron  systems 
  with its Glen Elder, Kansas system by October 2003 and  October 
  2004, respectively.  Cunningham further states that when  these 
  interconnects  are   completed,  the   Washington  and   Hebron 
  headends  will be  eliminated  and its  Washington  and  Hebron 
  subscribers will  receive national EAS  messages from the  Glen 
  Elder system,  which will have EAS  equipment installed by  the 
  October 1, 2002 deadline.  Cunningham asserts that the cost  of 
  installing EAS  equipment at  the two systems  that are  slated 
  for elimination  will impose a  substantial financial  hardship 
  on it  and provides a financial  statement for 2001 in  support 
  of this  assertion.  In addition,  Cunningham submits that  its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems.  
  In  this   regard,  Cunningham  notes   that  its   subscribers 
  currently have access to national EAS messages on at least  one 
  third  of all  programmed  channels.  Cunningham  also  asserts 
  that  its  subscribers will  have  access  to  EAS  information 
  through  over-the-air  reception of  broadcast  television  and 
  radio  stations.    Finally,  Cunningham   observes  that   the 
  Washington  system  maintains  a  local  EAS  capability  which 
  allows local  police and  public safety  officials to  transmit 
  emergency messages over the system.  

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information  submitted  by  Cunningham,  we  conclude  that   a 
  temporary,  12-month  waiver   of  Section  11.11(a)  for   the 
  Washington, Kansas system and a temporary, 24-month waiver  for 
  the Hebron, Nebraska  system is warranted.9  In particular,  we 
  find  that the  estimated $19,000  cost  of EAS  equipment  for 
  these small  cable systems, which  are slated for  elimination, 
  could impose a financial hardship on Cunningham.  

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.10    Based  on   comments  from   equipment 
  manufacturers, we  anticipate that such  a decoder-only  system 
  could  result  in  significant  cost  savings  to  small  cable 
  systems.11  

6.        Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  that, pursuant to  Sections 
  0.111,   0.204(b)  and   0.311  of   the  Rules,12   Cunningham 
  Communications, Inc.  IS GRANTED a  waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the Rules until  October 1, 2003 for its Washington,  Kansas 
  cable system  and IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules until October 1, 2004 for its Hebron, Nebraska  cable 
  system.

7.        IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that Cunningham  Communications, 
  Inc. 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 Cunningham  Communications, Inc., Christopher C.  Cinnamon, 
  Esq., Cinnamon Mueller, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite  1020, 
  Chicago, Illinois 60601.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief, Technical and Public Safety 
Division
                         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 
(1995).

  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 The waiver for  the Washington, Kansas system will extend  12 
months from October 1, 2002, until October 1, 2003 and the waiver 
for the  Hebron,  Nebraska  system will  extend  24  months  from 
October  1,  2002,  until  October  1,  2004.   Cunningham   also 
specifically requested  waiver  of  the  testing  and  monitoring 
requirements of the EAS rules for these two systems.  We  clarify 
that the waivers we are  granting also encompass the EAS  testing 
and monitoring requirements.  

  10 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).

  11 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.

  12 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.