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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
North Bonneville Community Cable System )    File  No.  EB-02-TS-
240
                                )
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )    
North Bonneville, Washington    )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 9, 2002               Released:   October   10, 
2002

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

      1.  In this  Order,  we grant  North  Bonneville  Community 
        Cable  System  (``North Bonneville'')  a  temporary,  36-
        month  waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the  Commission's 
        Rules   (``Rules'')   for   the   above-captioned   cable 
        television  system.   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.  On May 17, 2002, North Bonneville filed a request for a 
        waiver  of  Section  11.11(a)  for  the  captioned  cable 
        system.   In  support of  its request,  North  Bonneville 
        states  that the  small cable system  serves between  170 
        and 175  subscribers.  North Bonneville asserts that  the 
        cost to  install EAS equipment will impose a  substantial 
        financial  hardship  on  it and  provides  its  financial 
        statements  for   2000  and  2001  in  support  of   this 
        assertion.   In addition, North  Bonneville submits  that 
        its  subscribers will  continue to have  ready access  to 
        national  EAS information from  other sources,  including 
        its   cable   system's   programmed   channels.     North 
        Bonneville  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 North  Bonneville, we  conclude 
        that  a temporary,  36-month waiver  of Section  11.11(a) 
        for  the  captioned  cable  system  is  warranted.9    In 
        particular,  we  find  that the  estimated  cost  of  EAS 
        equipment  for this  small cable  system could  impose  a 
        financial hardship on North Bonneville.

      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   North 
        Bonneville Community Cable System IS GRANTED a waiver  of 
        Section 11.11(a)  of the Rules until October 1, 2005  for 
        the captioned cable television system.

      7.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED  that North Bonneville  Community 
        Cable  System place a copy of  this waiver in its  system 
        file.

      8.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
        be  sent by  Certified Mail Return  Receipt Requested  to 
        Ray  Hays, Utility  Manager, North  Bonneville  Community 
        Cable System,  City of North Bonneville, Post Office  Box 
        7, North Bonneville, Washington.

                         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  waiver will extend from  October 1, 2002, until  October 
1, 2005.   We  clarify  that  the waiver  we  are  granting  also 
encompasses 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.