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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
City of Norway, Michigan        )    File No. EB-02-TS-454
                                )
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )
Norway, 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  City of  Norway,  Michigan 
  (``City  of  Norway'')  temporary,         12-month  waiver  of 
  Section 11.11(a)  of the  Rules for  the above-captioned  cable 
  television  system.  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.        City of Norway  filed a  request for  a temporary,  24-
  month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the above-captioned  cable 
  system on  August 27, 2002.  In  support of its waiver  request 
  City  of   Norway  states   that  this   cable  system   serves 
  approximately  1,630   subscribers.   Based  on  price   quotes 
  provided  by  EAS  equipment  manufacturers,  City  of   Norway 
  estimates that it  would cost approximately $10,000 to  install 
  EAS  equipment at  this system.   City of  Norway asserts  that 
  this cost  will impose a substantial  financial hardship on  it 
  and provides  its financial statements for  2001 in support  of 
  this assertion. In this  regard, City of Norway notes that  its 
  subscribers currently have  access to national EAS messages  on 
  over 37  percent of  all programmed channels.   City of  Norway 
  submits  that  its subscribers  will  continue  to  have  ready 
  access  to   national  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 City of Norway, we decline to grant  a 
  temporary, 24-month  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of the  Rules 
  for  the   above-captioned  television  system.   However,   we 
  conclude  that a  temporary,  12-month waiver  for  the  above-
  captioned system  is warranted.9  In  particular, we find  that 
  the  estimated $10,000  cost of  EAS equipment  for this  small 
  cable  system could  impose a  financial  hardship on  City  of 
  Norway.

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 City  of  Norway, 
  Michigan IS GRANTED a  waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the  Rules 
  until  October  1, 2003  for  the  captioned  cable  television 
  system.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that City  of Norway,  Michigan 
  place a copy of this waiver in its system file.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for  the City  of Norway,  Michigan, Christopher  C.  Cinnamon, 
  Esq., Cinnamon Muller,  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  12-month waiver will extend  from October 1, 2002  until 
October 1, 2003.  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.