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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Viking Electronics, Inc. d/b/a Polar Cablevision  )
                                )    File No. EB-02-TS-373
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Osnabrock, ND                   )
Cavalier Air Force Station, ND  )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 25, 2002              Released:    October  30, 
2002

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

1.        In this Order, we grant Viking Electronics, Inc.  d/b/a 
  Polar Cablevision  (``Polar'') temporary,  12-month waivers  of 
  Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for  the 
  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.        Polar filed a request  for temporary, 12-month  waivers 
  of Section  11.11(a) for  the captioned cable  systems on  July 
  25, 2002.  In support of its waiver request, Polar states  that 
  together the systems have approximately 60 subscribers.   Based 
  on price quotes provided by EAS equipment manufacturers,  Polar 
  estimates that it  would cost approximately $20,000 to  install 
  EAS  equipment  at   these  systems.    Polar  indicates   that 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information  from   other  sources,  including   many  of   the 
  programmed  channels  carried  over  its  cable  system.  Polar 
  further  indicates that  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, we find that the estimated $20,000  cost 
  of EAS  equipment for this  small cable system  could impose  a 
  financial  hardship  on  Polar.  Therefore,  we  conclude  that 
  temporary, 12-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the  above-
  captioned 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 
  systems.11  

6.        Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  that, pursuant to  Sections 
  0.111,  0.204(b)  and 0.311  of  the  Rules,12  Midwest  Viking 
  Electronics, Inc. d/b/a Polar Cablevision, IS GRANTED a  waiver 
  of Section  11.11(a) of the  Rules until  October  1, 2003  for 
  the captioned cable television systems.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that Viking  Electronics,  Inc. 
  d/b/a Polar  Cablevision, place a  copy of this  waiver in  its 
  systems files.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent  by Certified Mail  Return Receipt Requested  Blooston, 
  Mordkofsky,  Dicken, Duffy  & Prendergast,  2120 L  Street  NW, 
  Suite 300, Washington DC 20037

                         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  12 months  from October  1,  2002, 
until October 1, 2003.  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.