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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
NewPath Communications, L.C.    )    File No. EB-02-TS-261
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Batavia, Iowa                   )
Brandon, Iowa                   )
Fertile, Iowa                   )
Goodell, Iowa                   )
Grafton, Iowa                   )
Joice, Iowa                     )
Ledyard, Iowa                   )
Libertyville, Iowa              )
Liscomb, Iowa                   )
Lockridge, Iowa                 )
Milton, Iowa                    )
Randolph, Iowa                  )
Rowley, Iowa                    )
Swaledale, Iowa                 )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 21, 2002              Released:   October   25, 
2002

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


1.        In this Order,  we grant  NewPath Communications,  L.C. 
  (``NewPath'') temporary,  36-month waivers of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  14  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.        On  June  20,  2002,   NewPath  filed  a  request   for 
  temporary, 36-month waivers  of       Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  14 captioned cable systems.  In support of its waiver  request, 
  NewPath states    that these  small, rural  cable systems  each 
  serve between  4 and  104 subscribers.  Based  on price  quotes 
  provided  by  EAS equipment  manufacturers,  NewPath  estimates 
  that it would cost between $98,000 and $112,000 to install  EAS 
  equipment  at these  systems.  NewPath  asserts that  the  cost 
  will  impose  a  substantial  financial  hardship  on  it   and 
  provides financial statements  for 2000 and 2001 in support  of 
  this  assertion.   In   addition,  NewPath  submits  that   its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems.  
  In this  regard, NewPath notes  that its subscribers  currently 
  have access to national EAS messages on at least 52 percent  of 
  all  programmed  channels.  New  Path  also  asserts  that  its 
  subscribers will have  access to EAS information through  over-
  the-air reception  of broadcast television  and radio  stations 
  and other sources.  

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information submitted by  NewPath, we conclude that  temporary, 
  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for the 14 cable  systems 
  are  warranted.9  In  particular, we  find that  the  estimated 
  $98,000  plus cost  of  EAS  equipment for  these  small  cable 
  systems could impose financial hardship on NewPath.  

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   NewPath 
  Communications, L.C.  IS GRANTED a  waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the Rules until  October 1, 2005 for the 14 captioned  cable 
  television systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that NewPath Communications, L.C. 
  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  NewPath  Communications,  L.C.,  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  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.