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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
West Texas Cablevision, Inc.    )    No. EB-02-TS-509
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Grape Creek, Texas              )
Robert Lee, 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 West  Texas Cablevision,  Inc. 
  (``West  Texas Cablevision'')  temporary, 36-month  waivers  of 
  Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for  the 
  two   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.        West Texas Cablevision filed  a request for  temporary, 
  36-month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two  captioned 
  cable systems on September 10, 2002.  In support of its  waiver 
  request, West Texas Cablevision states that these small,  rural 
  cable  systems serve  a total  of  1127 subscribers.  Based  on 
  price  quotes provided  by  EAS equipment  manufacturers,  West 
  Texas Cablevision  estimates that it  would cost  approximately 
  $19,000 to install EAS equipment at these systems.  West  Texas 
  Cablevision asserts  that this cost  will impose a  substantial 
  financial hardship on it and provides its financial  statements 
  for 2000 and 2001  in support of this assertion.  In  addition, 
  West  Texas  Cablevision  submits  that  its  subscribers  will 
  continue to have ready access to national EAS information  from 
  other sources,  including its cable  systems.  In this  regard, 
  West  Texas Cablevision  notes that  its subscribers  currently 
  have  access  to national  EAS  messages  on  approximately  38 
  percent  of all  programmed channels.   West Texas  Cablevision 
  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 West Texas  Cablevision, we  conclude 
  that temporary,  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  two captioned systems  are warranted.9  In particular, we  find 
  that  the estimated  $19,000 cost  of  EAS equipment  for  this 
  small cable  system could impose a  financial hardship on  West 
  Texas Cablevision.  

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  West   Texas 
  Cablevision, Inc.  IS  GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules  until October 1,  2005 for the  two captioned  cable 
  television systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that West Texas Cablevision, Inc. 
  place a copy of these waivers 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  West Texas  Cablevision,  Inc., 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  36-months  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.