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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
St. John Cable Company and its affiliate,    )
Colfax Highline Cable Company   )    File No. EB-02-TS-249
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
St. John, Washington            )
Colfax, Washington              )
                                )
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  St. John Cable Company  (``St. 
  John'')  and  its  affiliate,  Colfax  Highline  Cable  Company 
  (``Colfax'') 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.        St.  John  and  Colfax  jointly  filed  a  request  for 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two 
  captioned  cable  television systems  on  June  14,  2002.   In 
  support of the waiver  request, St. John and Colfax state  that 
  these   are  small   cable   systems  with   few   subscribers.  
  Specifically, St.  John and Colfax indicate  that the St.  John 
  system  serves approximately  486  subscribers and  the  Colfax 
  system serves  approximately 1,122 subscribers.   St. John  and 
  Colfax  estimate that  it  will  cost $10,000  to  install  EAS 
  equipment at each of these systems.  St John and Colfax  assert 
  that  this will  impose  a substantial  financial  hardship  on 
  them, and  provide financial  statements for 2000  and 2001  in 
  support of  this assertion.  In addition,  St. John and  Colfax 
  submit that subscribers  will continue to have ready access  to 
  national EAS  information from other  sources, including  their 
  own  cable systems.   St.  John  and Colfax  also  submit  that 
  subscribers will have  access to EAS information through  over-
  the-air reception of  broadcast television and radio  stations.  
  Finally,  St.   John  and  Colfax  believe   that  a  plan   to 
  consolidate the two  headends can be completed within the  next 
  three years.

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information submitted by St. John and Colfax, we conclude  that 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two 
  captioned systems are  warranted.9  In particular we find  that 
  the cost of EAS  equipment for these small cable systems  could 
  impose financial hardship on St. John and Colfax. 

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  St.  John  Cable 
  Company and Colfax  Highline Cable Company ARE GRANTED  waivers 
  of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules until October 1, 2005 for  the 
  two captioned cable television systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  St. John Cable Company  and 
  Colfax Highline Cable Company place a copy of these waivers  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 St. John  Cable Company and Colfax Highline Cable  Company, 
  Gerard J. Duffy,  Esq., Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy  & 
  Prendergast, 2120 L  Street, N.W., Suite 300, Washington,  D.C. 
  20037.

                         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 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.