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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
WMW Cable Television Co.        )    File No. EB-02-TS-068
                                )
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )    
Hartford, South Dakota          )
                                )
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 WMW Cable Television Co. (``WMW 
  Cable'') a  temporary, 36-month waiver  of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules (``Rules'')  for  the  above-captioned 
  cable  television  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.        WMW Cable  filed a  request for  a temporary,  36-month 
  waiver of  Section 11.11(a) for the  captioned cable system  on 
  February  12, 2002.   In support  of  its waiver  request,  WMW 
  Cable states  that this is  a small, rural  cable system  which 
  serves approximately 694  subscribers.  Based on a price  quote 
  provided by an EAS equipment manufacturer, WMW Cable  estimates 
  that  it  would  cost  approximately  $10,500  to  install  EAS 
  equipment at  this system.   WMW Cable asserts  that this  cost 
  will  impose  a  substantial  financial  hardship  on  it   and 
  provides its  financial statement for 2001  in support of  this 
  assertion. In addition, WMW Cable submits that its  subscribers 
  will continue to have ready access to national EAS  information 
  from  other sources,  including  its cable  systems.   In  this 
  regard, WMW  Cable notes  that its  subscribers currently  have 
  access to  national EAS messages on  approximately half of  all 
  programmed  channels.    WMW  Cable  also   asserts  that   its 
  subscribers will have  access to EAS information through  over-
  the-air reception of  broadcast television and radio  stations.  
  Finally,  WMW Cable  asserts  that a  new  housing  development 
  planned for  Hartford could  increase its  subscriber base  and 
  revenues  by  at least  20%  over  the next  couple  of  years.  
  Therefore, WMW Cable believes that it will be able to fund  EAS 
  equipment for the system in the next three years.

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information  submitted  by  WMW  Cable,  we  conclude  that   a 
  temporary,  36-month  waiver   of  Section  11.11(a)  for   the 
  captioned system  is warranted.9  In  particular, we find  that 
  the  estimated $10,500  cost of  EAS equipment  for this  small 
  cable system could impose a financial hardship on WMW Cable.  

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 WMW Cable  Television 
  Co. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules  until 
  October 1, 2005 for the captioned cable television system.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that WMW  Cable Television  Co. 
  place a copy of this waiver in its system file.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for WMW  Cable Television Co.,  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 will extend 36 months from October 1, 2002,  until 
October 1, 2005.  WMW Cable also specifically requested waiver of 
the testing and  monitoring requirements  of the  EAS rules.   We 
clarify that the waiver we are granting also encompasses 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.