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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Northland Cable Television, Inc.)    File No. EB-02-TS-467
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in the States of:  )
                                )
California, South Carolina and Texas )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 29, 2002              Released:   November   1, 
2002 

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

1.         In this  Order, we grant  Northland Cable  Television, 
  Inc. (``Northland'') temporary  waivers of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'')  for 15  cable  television 
  systems in the three above-captioned states.  Specifically,  we 
  grant temporary  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  15 cable television systems in Attachment A.  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.        Northland filed a request for a waiver or alternative a 
  five-year  extension of  time of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  15 
  small, rural  cable systems  in the three  captioned states  on 
  August 27, 2002.   In support of its waiver request,  Northland 
  states that these small, rural cable systems serve between  126 
  and  885 subscribers.  Based on  price quotes  provided by  EAS 
  equipment  manufacturers,  Northland estimates  that  it  would 
  cost approximately $105,000  to install EAS equipment at  these 
  systems.   Northland  asserts that  this  cost  will  impose  a 
  substantial  financial   hardship  on  it   and  provides   its 
  financial statement for 2001 in support of this assertion.   In 
  addition, Northland submits that its subscribers will  continue 
  to have  ready access  to national EAS  information from  other 
  sources, including its cable systems.   Northland 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  Northland,  we  decline  to   grant 
  Northland  a  temporary, five-year  waiver  of  Section  11.11.  
  However,  we conclude  that  a temporary,  36-month  waiver  of 
  Section 11.11(a) for  the 15 captions cable television  systems 
  in Attachment  A are warranted.9  In  particular, we find  that 
  the estimated $105,000 cost to install EAS equipment for  these 
  15 systems could impose a financial hardship on Northland.

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  Northland  Cable 
  Television, Inc. IS GRANTED waivers of Section 11.11(a) of  the 
  Rules  until  October  1,  2005  for  the  15  captioned  cable 
  television systems listed in Attachment A. 

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Northland Cable  Television, 
  Inc., 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 to  counsel 
  for Northland  Cable Television,  Inc., Maria  T. Browne  Esq., 
  Cole, Raywid & Braverman, LLP, 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue,  Suite 
  200, Washington, D.C. 20006.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                         


                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief, Technical and Public Safety 
Division
                         Enforcement Bureau

                                             Attachment A

Northland Cable Television, Inc.

Cable Systems:                          Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:   

California                              
Coursegold, California                       October 1, 2005
Fish Camp, California                        October 1, 2005
Lushmeadow, California                  October 1, 2005
Mariposa, California                         October 1, 2005

South Carolina:

Five Points, South Carolina                  October 1, 2005
Saluda, South Carolina                       October 1, 2005

Texas:

Buffalo, Texas                          October 1, 2005
Coolidge, Texas                         October 1, 2005
Dublin, Texas                           October 1, 2005
Hamilton, Texas                         October 1, 2005
Hico, Texas                             October 1, 2005
Jewett, Texas                           October 1, 2005
Lake Buchanan, Texas                         October 1, 2005
Llano, Texas                            October 1, 2005
Wortham, Texas                     October 1, 2005


                              
_________________________

  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.