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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Alpine Cable Television, LLC    )    File No. EB-02-TS-170
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Arlington, Iowa                 )
Aurora, Iowa                    )
Colesburg, Iowa                 )
Elkport, Iowa                   )
Greeley, Iowa                   )
Lamont, Iowa                    )
Lawler, Iowa                    )
Sherrill, Iowa                  )
Westgate, Iowa                  )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  September 24, 2002            Released:  September  27, 
2002

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

      1.  In this Order,  we grant Alpine  Cable Television,  LLC 
        (``Alpine   Cable'')  temporary,   36-month  waivers   of 
        Section  11.11(a) of the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') 
        for  the nine 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, 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.  Alpine Cable filed a request  for a permanent or  five-
        year  waiver of Section 11.11(a)  for the nine  captioned 
        cable systems  on May 2, 2002.  In support of its  waiver 
        request, Alpine  Cable states that the nine small,  rural 
        cable systems serve together a total of 723  subscribers.  
        Alpine  Cable estimates  that it  would cost  a total  of 
        between $50,000  and $60,000 to install EAS equipment  at 
        each  of these systems.  Alpine  Cable asserts that  this 
        cost will  impose a substantial financial hardship on  it 
        and  provides its financial statement  for 2000 and  2001 
        in support of this assertion.  In addition, Alpine  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,  Alpine 
        Cable  notes that its  subscribers currently have  access 
        to  national EAS  messages on  approximately 49%  of  all 
        programmed channels.  Alpine Cable also asserts that  its 
        subscribers will  have access to EAS information  through 
        over-the-air reception of broadcast television and  radio 
        stations.    

      4.  Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
        information  submitted  by Alpine  Cable, we  decline  to 
        grant  Alpine a permanent  or five-year waiver.  However, 
        we conclude that a temporary, 36-month waiver of  Section 
        11.11(a)  for the nine  captioned systems is  warranted.9  
        In  particular,  we  find  that  the  estimated  cost  of 
        between $50,000  and $60,000 for EAS equipment for  these 
        small cable systems could impose a financial hardship  on 
        Alpine 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 Alpine  Cable 
        Television, LLC  IS GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
        of the Rules until October 1, 2005 for each of the  three 
        captioned cable television systems.

      7.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Alpine Cable Television, LLC 
        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 
        Alpine Cable Television, LLC, Patrick McGowan,  Executive 
        Vice President,  Post Office Box 71604, Des Moines,  Iowa 
        50325.

                         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 waivers  will from  October 1,  2002, until  October  1, 
2005.  Alpine Cable also  requested a waiver  of the testing  and 
monitoring requirements of the EAS  rules for these 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.