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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Belhaven Cable TV, Inc.         )    File No. EB-02-TS-218
                                )
Operator of Cables Systems in:  )
                                )    
Belhaven, North Carolina        )
Ocracoke, North Carolina        )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  September 27, 2002            Released:    October   4, 
2002

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

1.        In this  Order,  we  grant  Belhaven  Cable  TV,  Inc., 
  (``Belhaven  Cable'') temporary,          36-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, 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.        Belhaven Cable filed a request for temporary,  36-month 
  waivers  of  Section  11.11(a)  for  the  two  captioned  cable 
  systems on  May 30, 2002.   In support of  its waiver  request, 
  Belhaven  Cable states  that  these are  small,  coastal  cable 
  systems in  North Carolina,  with the  Belhaven system  serving 
  500   subscribers  and   the   Ocracoke  system   serving   204 
  subscribers.  Based  on estimates from  EAS equipment  vendors, 
  EAS  equipment  and  installation  will  cost  Belhaven   Cable 
  approximately  $10,000 to  install  EAS equipment  at  each  of 
  these systems for  a total of $20,000.  Belhaven Cable  asserts 
  that this cost will impose a substantial financial hardship  on 
  it and provides its  financial statements for 1999 and 2000  in 
  support  of  this  assertion.   In  addition,  Belhaven   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, Belhaven  Cable 
  notes  that its  subscribers will  continue to  have access  to 
  national EAS messages on at least 42 percent of all  programmed 
  channels.  Belhaven Cable further submits 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 Belhaven  Cable, we  conclude that  a 
  temporary,  36-month waiver  of Section  11.11(a) for  the  two 
  captioned systems is  warranted.9  In particular, we find  that 
  the estimated  $20,000 cost  of EAS equipment  for these  small 
  cable systems  could impose  a financial  hardship on  Belhaven 
  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 Belhaven Cable  TV, 
  Inc., IS  GRANTED a  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of the  Rules 
  until October  1, 2005   for each  of the  two captioned  cable 
  television systems.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that Belhaven  Cable TV,  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 Belhaven  Cable TV,  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 waivers  will extend  36 months  from October  1,  2002, 
until  October  1,  2005.    Belhaven  Cable  also   specifically 
requested waiver of  the testing and  monitoring requirements  of 
the EAS rules.  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.