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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Northland Cable Networks LLC    )    File No. EB-02-TS-242
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )
Maben, Mississippi              )
Raleigh, Mississippi            )
                                )
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 Northland Cable Networks  LLC 
  (``NCN LLC'') a temporary, 36-month waiver 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.        NCN LLC filed a request  for a permanent or  temporary, 
  five-year  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two  captioned 
  small, rural  cable systems on  June 10, 2002.   In support  of 
  its waiver request,  NCN LLC states that the Maben  Mississippi 
  cable   system  serves   310  subscribers   and  the   Raleigh, 
  Mississippi  cable  system serves  316  subscribers.  Based  on 
  price quotes provided  by EAS equipment manufacturers, NCN  LLC 
  estimates that it  would cost approximately $14,368 to  install 
  EAS equipment at these two systems.  NCN LLC asserts that  this 
  cost will  impose a  substantial financial hardship  on it  and 
  provides its  financial statement for 2001  in support of  this 
  assertion. In  addition, NCN LLC  submits that its  subscribers 
  will continue to have ready access to national EAS  information 
  from  other sources,  including  its cable  systems.   In  this 
  regard, NCN  LLC Telecom notes  that its subscribers  currently 
  have  access to  national EAS  messages on  approximately  one-
  third of  all programmed channels.  NCN  LLC 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 NCN  LLC,  we  do not  find  that  a 
  permanent waiver  or a temporary,  five-year waiver of  Section 
  11.11(a) is warranted.  However, we conclude that a  temporary, 
  36-month  waiver  of Section  11.11(a)  for  the  two  captions 
  systems  is  warranted.9   In  particular,  we  find  that  the 
  estimated $14,368 cost  to install EAS equipment for these  two 
  systems could impose a financial hardship on NCN LLC.

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  Northland  Cable 
  Networks LLC  IS GRANTED a  waiver 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 Northland Cable Networks LLC 
  place a copy of this waiver in its systems files.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for  Northland Cable  Networks  LLC,  K. E.  Love  Esq.,  Cole, 
  Raywid & Braverman,  LLP, 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite  200, 
  Washington, D.C. 20006.

                         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.