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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Great Plains Cable Television, Inc.  )  File No. EB-02-TS-209
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Arnold, Nebraska                )
Bancroft, Nebraska              )
Chapman, Nebraska               )
Elgin, Nebraska                 )
Grant, Nebraska                 )
Hay Springs, Nebraska           )
North Bend, Nebraska            )
Ponca, Nebraska                 )
Sutherland, Nebraska            )
Wolbach, Nebraska               )
                                )
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 Great Plains Cable  Television, 
  Inc. (``Great Plains'')  temporary waivers of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  10  above-
  captioned cable television systems.  Specifically, we deny  the 
  request  for temporary,  24-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) 
  for the  Elgin and Grant,  Nebraska systems, and  alternatively 
  grant temporary, 12-month  waivers of Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  two  systems.  We  also grant  temporary, 36-month  waivers  of 
  Section  11.11(a)  for  the  Arnold,  Bancroft,  Chapman,   Hay 
  Springs, North Bend,  Ponca, Sutherland, and Wolbach,  Nebraska 
  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.        Great Plains filed a  request for temporary waivers  of 
  Section  11.11(a)  for the  10  captioned  small,  rural  cable 
  systems on  May 23, 2002.   In support of  its waiver  request, 
  Great Plains  states that  it has  11 small  cable systems  and 
  will bring its  Bloomfield, Nebraska system into compliance  by 
  October 2002.  Great Plains requests a 24-month waiver for  the 
  Elgin   and  Grant,   Nebraska   systems  which   serve   1,093 
  subscribers  and 1,546  subscribers,  respectively, and  a  36-
  month waiver  for the Arnold,  Bancroft, Chapman, Hay  Springs, 
  North Bend,  Ponca, Sutherland, and  Wolbach, Nebraska  systems 
  each of which serve  between 73 and 633 subscribers.  Based  on 
  price  quotes provided  by EAS  equipment manufacturers,  Great 
  Plains estimates  that it would  cost approximately $10,000  to 
  install EAS  equipment at the l1  cable systems for total  cost 
  of  $110,000.  Great  Plains asserts  that this  will impose  a 
  substantial  financial   hardship  on  it   and  provides   its 
  financial  statement for  2000  and  2001 in  support  of  this 
  assertion.   In  addition,   Great  Plains  submits  that   its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems.  
  In  this  regard,  Great  Plains  notes  that  its  subscribers 
  currently have access to  national EAS messages on at least  33 
  percent of all programmed channels.  Great Plains 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 Great Plains, we  decline to grant  a 
  temporary, 24-month  waiver of Section  11.11(a) for the  Elgin 
  and  Grant,  Nebraska  cable  systems.   We  conclude  that   a 
  temporary, 12-month  waiver of Section  11.11(a) for the  Elgin 
  and Grant,  Nebraska systems is  warranted.  Also, we  conclude 
  that a temporary,  36-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  Arnold,  Bancroft, Chapman,  Hay  Springs, North  Bend,  Ponca, 
  Sutherland, and  Wolbach, Nebraska systems  is warranted.9   In 
  particular, we find  that the estimated $110,000 total cost  of 
  EAS  equipment for  these small  cable systems  could impose  a 
  financial hardship on Great Plains.  

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 Great Plains  Cable 
  Television, Inc.  IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Rules until  October  1, 2003  for  its Elgin  and  Grant, 
  Nebraska  cable systems  and IS  GRANTED  a waiver  of  Section 
  11.11(a) of  the Rules until  October 1, 2005  for its  Arnold, 
  Bancroft, Chapman, Hay Springs, North Bend, Ponca,  Sutherland, 
  and Wolbach, Nebraska cable systems.

7.        IT  IS  FURTHER   ORDERED  that   Great  Plains   Cable 
  Television, 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  Great  Plains  Cable  Television,  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 12-month waivers will extend from October 1, 2002,  until 
October 1, 2003 and the 36-month waivers will extend from October 
1,  2002,  until  October  1,  2005.   Great  Plains  Cable  also 
specifically requested  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.