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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Upper Peninsula Communications, Inc. )  File No. EB-02-TS-428
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )
Mellen, Michigan                )
Camey, Michigan                 )
Naubinway, Michigan             )
Portage Township, Michigan      )
Alpha, Michigan                 )
Amasa, Michigan                 )
Champion, Michigan              )
Detour, Michigan                )
Garden, Michigan                )
Germfask, Michigan              )
Marenisco, Michigan             )
Michigamme, Michigan            )
Nahma, Michigan                 )
Phelps, Wisconision             )
Wolverine, Michigan             )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted: October 10, 2002               Released:   October   16, 
2002

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

1.           In   this   Order,   we   grant   Upper    Peninsula 
  Communications, Inc.,  (``Upper Peninsula'') temporary  waivers 
  of Section 11.11(a)  of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')  for 
  the   fifteen   above-captioned   cable   television   systems. 
  Specifically,  we  grant a  12-month  waiver  for  the  Mellen, 
  Michigan  cable system  and a  24-month waiver  for the  Camey, 
  Michigan; Naubinway,  Michigan; and Portage Township,  Michigan 
  cable systems, and a temporary, 36-month waiver for the  Alpha, 
  Michigan;   Amasa,  Michigan;   Champion,   Michigan;   Detour, 
  Michigan;  Garden,  Michigan;  Germfask,  Michigan;  Marenisco, 
  Michigan;  Michigamme,   Michigan;  Nahma,  Michigan;   Phelps, 
  Wisconsin;  and  Wolverine, Michigan  cable  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.        Upper Peninsula filed a  request for temporary  waivers 
  of Section 11.11(a) for the fifteen captioned cable systems  on 
  August  20, 2002.   In support  of its  waiver requests,  Upper 
  Peninsula states that these fifteen small, rural cable  systems 
  serve  between 23  and 391  subscribers.   The largest  of  the 
  fifteen systems,  serves just  391 subscribers.   Over half  of 
  the systems  serve fewer than 100  subscribers each.  Based  on 
  price  quotes provided  by EAS  equipment manufacturers,  Upper 
  Peninsula estimates  that it would  cost approximately  $10,000 
  to install EAS equipment  at each of these systems for a  total 
  cost of $150,000.  Upper Peninsula asserts that this cost  will 
  impose a substantial financial hardship on it and provides  its 
  financial  statements for  1999 and  2000  in support  of  this 
  assertion.   In  addition, Upper  Peninsula  submits  that  its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems.  
  In  this regard,  Upper Peninsula  notes that  its  subscribers 
  currently  have access  to national  EAS messages  on at  least 
  forty  percent of  all  programmed channels.   Upper  Peninsula 
  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 Upper Peninsula,  we conclude that  a 
  temporary 12-month waiver  of Section 11.11(a) for the  Mellen, 
  Michigan  cable system,  and a  temporary, 24-month  waiver  of 
  Section 11.11(a) for  the Camey, Michigan; Naubinway,  Michigan 
  and Portage Township, Michigan cable systems, and a  temporary, 
  36  month waiver  of Section  11.11(a) for  each of  the  other 
  eleven captioned cable  systems are warranted9  In  particular, 
  we  find that  the $150,000  cost of  EAS equipment  for  these 
  small cable systems could impose a financial hardship on  Upper 
  Peninsula.

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  Upper  Peninsula 
  Communications, Inc.  IS GRANTED a  waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the  Rules until October  1, 2003 for  the cable  television 
  system in Mellen, Michigan and  IS GRANTED a waiver of  Section 
  11.11(a)  of the  Rules until  October 1,  2004 for  the  cable 
  television  systems in  Camey, Michigan;  Naubinway,  Michigan, 
  and  Portage Township,  Michigan and  IS  GRANTED a  waiver  of 
  Section 11.11(a)  of the Rules  until October 1,  2005 for  the 
  cable television systems  in Alpha, Michigan; Amasa,  Michigan; 
  Champion,   Michigan;  Detour,   Michigan;  Garden,   Michigan; 
  Germfask, Michigan; Marenisco, Michigan; Michigamme,  Michigan; 
  Nahma, Michigan; Phelps, Wisconsin and Wolverine, Michigan.

7.        IT   IS   FURTHER   ORDERED   that   Upper    Peninsula 
  Communications,  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  Upper  Peninsula  Communications,  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 12-month waiver  will extend from October 1, 2002,  until 
October 1, 2003, and the 24-month waiver will extend from October 
1, 2002  until October  1,  2004, and  the 36-month  waiver  will 
extend  from   October   1,   2002,  until   October   1,   2005.  
Additionally, 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.