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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Pine Tree Cablevision Associates)    File No. EB-02-TS-120
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in the States of:  )
                                )    
Maine, New Hampshire and South Carolina )
                                )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  July 25, 2002                 Released:  July 30, 2002  

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


1.        In  this  Order,   we  grant   Pine  Tree   Cablevision 
  Associates  (``Pine  Tree'')  temporary,  waivers  of   Section 
  11.11(a) of  the Commission's  Rules (``Rules'')  for 22  cable 
  televisions    systems   in    the   above-captioned    states.  
  Specifically, we grant  temporary, 24-month waivers of  Section 
  11.11(a) for two  cable television systems in Attachment A  and 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of Section  11.11(a) for 20  cable 
  television systems in Attachment A.  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.        On March  26,  2002,  Pine Tree  filed  a  request  for 
  temporary waivers of Section 11.11(a) for 22 small rural  cable 
  television  systems  operating in  the  captioned  states.   In 
  particular, Pine Tree requests temporary, 24-month waivers  for 
  two of  its cable systems and  temporary, 36-month waivers  for 
  20 of  its cable systems  in Attachment A.   In support of  its 
  waiver  request, Pine  Tree states  that  the 22  systems  each 
  serve between 12 and 1,234 subscribers.  Based on price  quotes 
  provided by  EAS equipment manufacturers,  Pine Tree  estimates 
  that it  would cost between $9,500  and $10,500 to install  EAS 
  equipment  at  each  of these  systems  for  a  total  cost  of 
  approximately $220,000.   Pine Tree  asserts that  the cost  of 
  installing  EAS  equipment  at  these  systems  will  impose  a 
  substantial  financial hardship  on it  and provides  financial 
  statements for 2000 and 2001 in support of this assertion.   In 
  addition, Pine Tree submits that its subscribers will  continue 
  to have  ready access  to national EAS  information from  other 
  sources, including  its cable  systems.  In  this regard,  Pine 
  Tree  notes  that its  subscribers  currently  have  access  to 
  national  EAS messages  on between  39 and  57 percent  of  all 
  programmed  channels.    Pine  Tree  also   asserts  that   its 
  subscribers will have  access to EAS information through  over-
  the-air reception  of broadcast television  and radio  stations 
  and other sources.  

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information   submitted  by   Pine  Tree,   we  conclude   that 
  temporary, 24-month waivers and temporary, 36-month waivers  of 
  Section 11.11(a) for the 22 systems listed in Attachment A  are 
  warranted.9   In  particular,   we  find  that  the   estimated 
  $220,000 cost  of EAS equipment for  these small cable  systems 
  could impose financial hardship on Pine Tree.  

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  Pine   Tree 
  Cablevision Associates IS GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the Rules  until  October 1,  2004  for two  of  the  cable 
  television  systems listed  in Attachment  A and  IS GRANTED  a 
  waiver of Section 11.11(a)  of the Rules until October 1,  2005 
  for 20 of the cable television systems listed in Attachment A.

7.        IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  that  Pine  Tree  Cablevision 
  Associates 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 Pine Tree Cablevision Associates, 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

                             Attachment A




     Pine Tree Cablevision Associates

     Cable Systems:                     Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:

     Maine
     Jonesport, Maine                   October 1, 2005
     Cherryfield, Maine                 October 1, 2005
     Gouldsboro, Maine                  October 1, 2005
     Princeton, Maine                   October 1, 2005
     Winter Harbor Navy Base, Maine          October 1, 2005

     New Hampshire
     Troy, New Hampshire                October 1, 2004
     Spofford, New Hampshire            October 1, 2005
     Nelson, New Hampshire              October 1, 2005
     Stoddard, New Hampshire            October 1, 2005

     South Carolina
     St. Stephen, South Carolina             October 1, 2004
     Hopkins, South Carolina            October 1, 2005
     Swansea, South Carolina            October 1, 2005
     Lugoff, South Carolina                  October 1, 2005
     Cottageville, South Carolina            October 1, 2005
     Elloree, South Carolina                 October 1, 2005
     Cross, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
     Wagener, South Carolina            October 1, 2005
     Hilda, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
     North, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
     McBee, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
     Lamar, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
     Jefferson, South Carolina               October 1, 2005
     
                                                       
     
_________________________

  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 24-month waivers will extend from October 1, 2002,  until 
October 1, 2004 and 36-month waivers will extend from October  1, 
2002,  until  October  1,  2005.   Pine  Tree  also  specifically 
requested waiver of  the testing and  monitoring requirements  of 
the EAS rules for the 22 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.