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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
New Century Communications Co.  )    File No. EB-02-TS-429
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in the States of   )
                                )
Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin      )
                                )
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 New Century Communications  Co. 
  (``New  Century'') temporary,  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'')  for 33  cable  television 
  systems in the three above-captioned states.  Specifically,  we 
  grant a temporary, 36-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  33 cable  television systems listed  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.        On August 20,  2002, New  Century filed  a request  for 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of Section  11.11(a) for 33  small 
  rural  cable  systems in  the  three  captioned  states.    New 
  Century states that each of these systems serves between 6  and 
  301  subscribers.   Based  on  price  quotes  provided  by  EAS 
  equipment manufacturers,  New Century estimates  that it  would 
  cost approximately $330,000 to install EAS equipment at the  33 
  systems.   New Century  asserts that  this cost  will impose  a 
  substantial  financial   hardship  on  it   and  provides   its 
  financial  statements for  the year  2001  in support  of  this 
  assertion.   In   addition,  New  Century   submits  that   its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems.  
  In  this  regard,  New  Century  notes  that  its   subscribers 
  currently have access to  national EAS messages on at least  48 
  percent of all  programmed channels.  New Century 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   New  Century,  we  conclude   that 
  temporary,  36-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) for  the  33 
  cable television  systems in Attachment  A are warranted.9   In 
  particular, we  find that  the estimated $330,000  cost of  EAS 
  equipment for the small cable systems could impose a  financial 
  hardship on New Century.   

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   New   Century 
  Communications, Co. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Rules until  October  1, 2005  for  the 33  cable  systems 
  listed in Attachment A. 

7.         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that New Century Communications, 
  Co., 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  counsel 
  for New Century  Communications, Co., 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
                                             Attachment A

New Century Communications Co.

Cable Systems:                          Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:   

Iowa                          
Delhi, Iowa                             October 1, 2005          
Hopkinton, Iowa                         October 1, 2005
Luxemburg, Iowa                         October 1, 2005          
Worthington, Iowa                       October 1, 2005

Minnesota

Canosia, Minnesota                      October 1, 2005
Finland, Minnesota                      October 1, 2005
French River, Minnesota                 October 1, 2005
Knife Lake, Minnesota                        October 1, 2005
Knife River, Minnesota                       October 1, 2005
Long Lake/Fayal, Minnesota                   October 1, 2005
Round Lake, Minnesota                        October 1, 2005
Rutledge, Minnesota                     October 1, 2005
Schultz, Minnesota                      October 1, 2005
Willow River, Minnesota                 October 1, 2005
Wrenshall, Minnesota                         October 1, 2005

Wisconsin

Almond, Wisconsin                       October 1, 2005
Bancroft, Wisconsin                     October 1, 2005
Briggsville, Wisconsin                       October 1, 2005
Dalton, Wisconsin                       October 1, 2005
Doylestown, Wisconsin                        October 1, 2005
Endeavor, Wisconsin                     October 1, 2005
Granton, Wisconsin                      October 1, 2005
Kellnersville, Wisconsin                October 1, 2005
Kingston, Wisconsin                     October 1, 2005
Milladore, Wisconsin                         October 1, 2005
Marquette, Wisconsin                         October 1, 2005
Oxford, Wisconsin                       October 1, 2005 
Packwaukee, Wisconsin                        October 1, 2005
Rosholt, Wisconsin                      October 1, 2005
Rozellville, Wisconsin                       October 1, 2005
Saxeville, Wisconsin                         October 1, 2005
Tustin/Bloomfield, Wisconsin                 October 1, 2005
Wolf River, Wisconsin                        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  36-months  from October  1,  2002, 
until October 1, 2005.  Additionally, we clarify that the waivers 
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.