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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Central Valley Cable TV ) File No. EB-02-TS-220
Operator of Cable Systems in: )
Coalinga, California )
Huron, California )
Riverdale, California )
Williams, California )
Arbuckle, California )
Maxwell, California )
Gualala, California )
The Sea Ranch, California )
Point Arena, California )
Manchester, California )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: October 21, 2002 Released: October 25,
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Order, we grant Central Valley Cable TV
(``Central Valley Cable'') temporary waivers of Section
11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for the above-
captioned cable television systems. Specifically, we grant a
24-month waiver for the Riverdale, California cable system and
36-month waivers for the Coalinga, California; Huron,
California; Williams, California; Arbuckle, California;
Maxwell, California; Gualala, California; The Sea Ranch,
California; Point Arena, California and Manchester, California
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. Central Valley Cable filed a request for waivers of
Section 11.11(a) for the 10 above-captioned cable systems on
May 30, 2002. In support of its waiver requests, Central
Valley Cable states that each of these systems serves small,
rural communities and have few subscribers. Central Valley
Cable asserts that the cost of EAS equipment will impose a
substantial financial hardship on it and provides its
financial statements for 2000 and 2001 in support of this
4. Based upon our review of the financial data and other
information submitted by Central Valley Cable, we decline to
grant Central Valley Cable a permanent waiver of Section
11.11(a) for the Riverdale System. However, we find that the
cost of EAS equipment for these small cable systems could
impose a financial hardship on Central Valley Cable.
Therefore, we conclude that a temporary, 24-month waiver of
Section 11.11(a) for the Riverdale, California cable system
and temporary, 36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the
Coalinga, California; Huron, California; William, California;
Arbuckle, California; Maxwell, California; Gualala,
California; The Sea Ranch, California; Point Arena, California
and Manchester, California cable systems are warranted. 9
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
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,12 Central Valley Cable
TV IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules until
October 1, 2004 and October 1, 2005 for the above-captioned
cable televisions systems.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Central Valley Cable TV
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 Thomas
E. Gelardi, Manager, Central Valley Cable TV, 375 Woodworth
Ave, #102, Clovis, CA 93612.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
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
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 36-month waiver 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
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.