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

In the Matter of                )
Galaxy Telecom, L.P.            )    File No. EB-02-TS-122
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
Alma, Missouri                  )
Wilber, Nebraska                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    

Adopted:  June 18, 2002                 Released:  June 21, 2002 

By the Chief, Technical  and Public Safety Division,  Enforcement 

1.        In  this  Order,   we  grant   Galaxy  Telecom,   L.P., 
  (``Galaxy'') temporary,  18-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  two  above-
  captioned cable television systems.  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.        On April 2, 2002, Galaxy filed a request for  temporary 
  waivers of Section  11.11(a) for 234 small rural cable  systems 
  in 15 states.   Galaxy requests waivers ranging from 18  months 
  to  36 months  depending on  the system  size.  In  particular, 
  Galaxy  requests  18-month   temporary  waivers  for  the   two 
  captioned  cable  systems.  Galaxy  indicates  that  the  Alma, 
  Missouri cable  system serves approximately 6,814  subscribers, 
  and  the Wilber,  Nebraska  cable system  serves  approximately 
  3,173 subscribers.  In  further support of its waiver  request, 
  Galaxy states that  it is currently operating under Chapter  11 
  bankruptcy    pursuant   to    a   Court-approved    plan    of 
  reorganization.9    Based  on  price  quotes  provided  by  EAS 
  equipment manufacturers,  Galaxy estimates that  it would  cost 
  approximately $10,000  per headend,  for a total  of over  $2.3 
  million  to install  EAS equipment  at these  systems.   Galaxy 
  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,  Galaxy 
  submits  that  its subscribers  will  continue  to  have  ready 
  access  to  national   EAS  information  from  other   sources, 
  including  its cable  systems.  In  this regard,  Galaxy  notes 
  that  its subscribers  currently have  access to  national  EAS 
  messages  from several  sources,  including from  Galaxy's  own 
  cable systems.  Galaxy  also asserts that its subscribers  will 
  have access to  EAS information through over-the-air  reception 
  of broadcast  television and radio  stations.  Finally,  Galaxy 
  expects to be able  to fund the EAS equipment and  installation 
  for its  largest system by  April 2004, with  the remainder  of 
  its  systems  being brought  into  compliance  on  a  phased-in 
  schedule by October 2005.

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information submitted by  Galaxy we conclude that a  temporary, 
  18-month  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two systems  is 
  warranted.10  In  particular, we find  that the estimated  $2.3 
  million cost  of EAS  equipment for these  cable systems  could 
  impose a financial hardship on Galaxy. 

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 Galaxy Telecom,  L.P. 
  IS GRANTED  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the Rules  until 
  April 1, 2004 for the captioned cable systems.

7.          IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Galaxy Telecom, L.P. 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  Galaxy  Telecom,  L.P.,  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 On October 31, 2001, Galaxy Telecom, L.P. and Galaxy  Telecom 
Capital Corp. filed  for Chapter  11 bankruptcy  with the  United 
States Bankruptcy Court, the Eastern District of  Missouri.

  10 The  waivers will  extend 18  months from  October 1,  2002, 
until April  1, 2004.   Galaxy  Telecom, L.P.  also  specifically 
requested waiver of  the testing and  monitoring requirements  of 
the EAS rules for the two  systems.  We clarify that the  waivers 
we are granting  also encompass  the EAS  testing and  monitoring 

  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.