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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Southern Cablevision, Inc.      )    File No. EB-02-TS-248  
                                )
Operator of Cables Systems in:  )
                                )
Bronwood, Georgia               )
Preston, Georgia                )
Sasser, Georgia                 )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 1, 2002               Released:    October   7, 
2002

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

1.        In this  Order,  we grant  Southern  Cablevision,  Inc. 
  (``Southern  Cablevision'')  temporary,  36-month  waivers   of 
  Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for  the 
  three  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.        Southern Cablevision filed a request for temporary, 36-
  month  waivers of  Section  11.11(a) for  the  three  captioned 
  cable  systems on  June 17,  2002.  In  support of  its  waiver 
  request,  Southern Cablevision  states  that the  small,  rural 
  cable  systems each  serve  between 127  and  148  subscribers.  
  Based on price quotes provided by EAS equipment  manufacturers, 
  Southern   Cablevision    estimates   that   it   would    cost 
  approximately  $30,000  to  install  EAS  equipment  at   these 
  systems.   Southern Cablevision  asserts  that this  cost  will 
  impose  a substantial  financial  hardship on  it  and  submits 
  financial  statements  for   the  years  2000  and  2001.    In 
  addition,  Southern Cablevision  submits that  its  subscribers 
  will continue to have ready access to national EAS  information 
  from  other sources,  including  its cable  systems.   In  this 
  regard,  Southern   Cablevision  notes  that  its   subscribers 
  currently have  access to  national EAS messages  on nearly  50 
  percent  of  all  programmed  channels.   Southern  Cablevision 
  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 Southern  Cablevision,  we  conclude 
  that temporary  36-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) for  the 
  three  captioned systems  are  warranted.9  In  particular,  we 
  find  that the  estimated $30,000  cost  of EAS  equipment  for 
  these small cable systems could impose a financial hardship  on 
  Southern Cablevision.  

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   Southern 
  Cablevision, Inc.  IS GRANTED a waiver  of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules until October  1, 2005 for the three captioned  cable 
  television systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED  that Southern Cablevision,  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 Southern Cablevision, 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.    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.