Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version

******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.

*****************************************************************



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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Beck's Cable Systems            )    File No. EB-02-TS-227
                                )
Operator of Cables Systems in:  )
                                )    
Rosamond, Illinois              )
Panama, Illinois                )
Dix, Illinois                   )
                                )
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   Beck's  Cable   Systems, 
  (``Beck's'') 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.        Beck's filed a request for  a three-year waiver of  the 
  EAS requirements  of Section 11.11(a)  for the three  captioned 
  cable  systems on  May  29, 2002.   In  support of  its  waiver 
  request, Beck's  states that each of  the three systems  serves 
  small,   rural    communities   and   has   few    subscribers.   
  Specifically, Beck's indicates that the Rosamond system  serves 
  62 subscribers, the Dix system serves 190 subscribers, and  the 
  Panama system serves 214 subscribers.  Beck's asserts that  the 
  cost  of installing  EAS equipment  at the  three systems  will 
  impose a  substantial financial hardship on  it and provides  a 
  financial statement for 2002 in support of this assertion.   In 
  addition, Beck's submits that its subscribers will continue  to 
  have  ready  access to  national  EAS  information  from  other 
  sources, including  its cable systems.   In this regard,  Beck' 
  notes that  its subscribers currently  have access to  national 
  EAS  messages  on  a  substantial  number  of  all   programmed 
  channels.  Finally, Beck's 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 Beck's, we conclude that a  temporary, 
  36-month waiver  of Section  11.11(a) for  the three  captioned 
  systems is  warranted.9  In particular, we  find that the  cost 
  of EAS equipment for  these small cable systems could impose  a 
  financial hardship on Beck's.  

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  Beck's   Cable 
  Systems, 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 Beck's Cable Systems,  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 Larry  K. 
  Beck, Owner,  Beck's Cable  Systems, Rural Route  2, Box  300A, 
  Ramsey, Illinois 62080.  

                         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.