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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Lamberton Cable TV and Walnut Grove Cable TV      )    File   No. 
EB-02-TS-425
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Lamberton, Minnesota            )
Walnut Grove, Minnesota         )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  October 29, 2002              Released:    November  5, 
2002

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

1.        In this Order, we grant  Lamberton Cable TV and  Walnut 
  Grove Cable  TV, (``Lamberton Cable  and Walnut Grove  Cable'') 
  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.        Lamberton Cable and Walnut Grove Cable filed a  request 
  for a  waiver of Section 11.11(a)  for the two above  captioned 
  cable systems  on August 26,  2002.  In support  of its  waiver 
  request, Lamberton  Cable and Walnut  Grove Cable states  these 
  are  two small,  rural cable  systems  in Minnesota,  with  the 
  Lamberton system serving  300 subscribers and the Walnut  Grove 
  system  serving  250   subscribers.   Based  on  price   quotes 
  provided by EAS  equipment vendors, Lamberton Cable and  Walnut 
  Grove Cable estimates  that it would cost approximately  $6,590 
  to install EAS equipment  at each of these systems for a  total 
  of  $13,180.  Lamberton  Cable and  Walnut Grove  Cable  assert 
  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, Lamberton Cable  and 
  Walnut Grove Cable  indicate that subscribers will continue  to 
  have  ready  access to  national  EAS  information  from  other 
  sources, including its cable systems.    

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information  submitted  by Lamberton  Cable  and  Walnut  Grove 
  Cable, we conclude that temporary, 36-month waivers of  Section 
  11.11(a)  for  the  two  above  captioned  cable  systems   are 
  warranted.9  In particular, we find that the estimated  $13,180 
  cost to  install EAS  equipment for these  small cable  systems 
  could  impose  a financial  hardship  on  Lamberton  Cable  and 
  Walnut Grove Cable. 

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 Lamberton Cable  TV 
  and  Walnut Grove  Cable  TV  ARE GRANTED  waivers  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 Lamberton  Cable  TV  and 
  Walnut  Grove Cable  TV, 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  Robert 
  E. Turner, 749 Des Moines Drive, Windom, Minnesota 56101-1401.

                         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.  Additionally, 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.