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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Savage Communications, Inc.     )    File No. EB-02-TS-475
                                )
Operator of Cables Systems in:  )
                                )    
Bamum, Minnesota                )
Floodwood, Minnesota            )
Greenway, Minnesota             )
Hill City, Minnesota            )
Isle, Minnesota                 )
McGregor, Minnesota             )
Mission, South Dakota           )
Pillager, Minnesota             )
Rosebud, South Dakota           )
Sandstone, Minnesota            )
St. Francis, South Dakota       )
Verndale, 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 Savage  Communications,  Inc. 
  (``Savage'')  temporary  waivers of  Section  11.11(a)  of  the 
  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  12  above-captioned 
  cable  television  systems.  Specifically,  we  grant  12-month 
  waivers for  the Isle, Minnesota  and the Sandstone,  Minnesota 
  cable systems  and 36-month waivers  for the Damum,  Minnesota; 
  Floodwood,   Minnesota;   Greenway,   Minnesota;   Hill   City, 
  Minnesota;   McGregor,  Minnesota;   Mission,   South   Dakota; 
  Pillager, Minnesota; Rosebud, South Dakota; St. Francis,  South 
  Dakota  and   Verndale,  Minnesota   cable  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.        Savage filed a request for temporary waivers of Section 
  11.11(a)  for the  12 captioned  cable  systems on  August  28, 
  2002.  In  support of  its waiver request,  Savage states  that 
  above-captioned  cable  systems serve  between  107  and  1,722 
  subscribers.   Based  on   price  quotes  from  EAS   equipment 
  manufacturers,   Savage   estimates   that   it   would    cost 
  approximately  $106,000  to  install  EAS  equipment  at  these 
  systems.   Savage  asserts   that  this  cost  will  impose   a 
  substantial  financial   hardship  on  it   and  provides   its 
  financial  statements for  2001 and  2002  in support  of  this 
  assertion.  In  addition, Savage submits  that its  subscribers 
  will continue to have ready access to national EAS  information 
  from  other sources,  including  its cable  systems.   In  this 
  regard,  Savage  notes  that  its  subscribers  currently  have 
  access to national EAS  messages on at least 42 percent of  all 
  programmed channels.  Savage 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 Savage, we  conclude that  temporary, 
  12-month waivers  of Section 11.11(a)  for the Isle,  Minnesota 
  and  the  Sandstone,  Minnesota  cable  systems  and   36-month 
  waivers  for   the  Damum,  Minnesota;  Floodwood,   Minnesota; 
  Greenway,   Minnesota;   Hill   City,   Minnesota;    McGregor, 
  Minnesota;   Mission,  South   Dakota;   Pillager,   Minnesota; 
  Rosebud, South Dakota; St. Francis, South Dakota and  Verndale, 
  Minnesota cable system are warranted.9  In particular, we  find 
  that the $106,000 cost  of EAS equipment for these small  cable 
  systems could impose a financial hardship on Savage.  

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    Savage 
  Communications, Inc.  IS GRANTED a  waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of  the Rules  until April  1, 2003  for the  cable  television 
  systems  in Isle,  Minnesota and  Sandstone, Minnesota  and  IS 
  GRANTED  a  waiver  of Section  11.11(a)  of  the  Rules  until 
  October  1, 2005  for the  cable television  systems in  Damum, 
  Minnesota;  Floodwood,  Minnesota;  Greenway,  Minnesota;  Hill 
  City, Minnesota;  McGregor, Minnesota;  Mission, South  Dakota; 
  Pillager, Minnesota; Rosebud, South Dakota; St. Francis,  South 
  Dakota and Verndale, Minnesota.

7.         IT  IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that  Savage  Communications, 
  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  Savage  Communications,  Inc.  Cunningham  Communications, 
  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 12-month waivers  will extend from October 1, 2002  until 
October 1, 2003 and the 36-month 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.