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                )
                                )
St. Paul Cooperative Telephone Association   )
d/b/a St. Paul Cablevision      )    File No. EB-02-TS-283
                                )
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )    
St. Paul, Oregon                )
                                )
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 St. Paul Cooperative  Telephone 
  Association,  d/b/a  St. Paul  Cablevision,  (``St.  Paul'')  a 
  temporary,  36-month   waiver  of  Section   11.11(a)  of   the 
  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') for  the above-captioned  cable 
  television  system.  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.        St. Paul  filed a  request  for a  temporary,  36-month 
  waiver of  Section 11.11(a) for the  captioned cable system  on 
  July  2, 2002.   In support  of its  waiver request,  St.  Paul 
  states that  this is a small,  rural cable system serving  only 
  55 subscribers.   Based on  a price  quote provided  by an  EAS 
  equipment manufacturer, St.  Paul estimates that it would  cost 
  approximately $7,683 to  install EAS equipment at this  system.  
  St.  Paul asserts  that this  cost  will impose  a  substantial 
  financial hardship on it and provides financial statements  for 
  2000 and  2001 in support of  this assertion. In addition,  St. 
  Paul submits that  its subscribers will continue to have  ready 
  access  to  national   EAS  information  from  other   sources, 
  including its  cable system.   In this regard,  St. Paul  notes 
  that  its subscribers  currently have  access to  national  EAS 
  messages on  48 percent of all  programmed channels.  St.  Paul 
  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  St.  Paul,    we  conclude  that  a 
  temporary,  36-month  waiver   of  Section  11.11(a)  for   the 
  captioned cable system  is warranted.9  In particular, we  find 
  that the estimated $7,683 cost of EAS equipment for this  small 
  cable system could impose financial hardship on St. Paul. 

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 St. Paul  Cooperative 
  Telephone Association, d/b/a St. Paul Cablevision IS GRANTED  a 
  waiver of Section 11.11(a)  of the Rules until October 1,  2005 
  for the captioned cable system.

7.        IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  that  St.  Paul   Cooperative 
  Telephone  Association, d/b/a/  St.  Paul Cablevision  place  a 
  copy of this waiver in its system file.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for St. Paul Cooperative Telephone Association, d/b/a St.  Paul 
  Cablevision, Christopher C. Cinnamon, Esq., Cinnamon &  Muller, 
  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  waiver will extend from  October 1, 2002, until  October 
1, 2005.    We  clarify that  the  waiver we  are  granting  also 
encompasses 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.