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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Sullivan Communications, Inc.   )    File No. EB-02-TS-551
d/b/a Pine Forest Cablevision   )
                                )    
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )
Bastrop County, Texas           )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  November 21, 2002             Released:   November  29, 
2002

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

1.        In this Order, we  grant Sullivan Communications,  Inc. 
  d/b/a Pine  Forest Cablevision (``Pine  Forest'') a  temporary, 
  36-month waiver of  Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's  Rules 
  (``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.        Pine Forest filed a  request for a temporary,  36-month 
  waiver of  Section 11.11(a) for the  captioned cable system  on 
  September 25,  2002.  In  support of its  waiver request,  Pine 
  Forest states  that this is a  small, rural cable system  which 
  serves 380 subscribers.   Pine Forest asserts that the cost  of 
  EAS equipment will  impose a substantial financial hardship  on 
  it and provides its  financial statements for 2000 and 2001  in 
  support of  this assertion.  In  addition, Pine Forest  submits 
  that  its subscribers  will continue  to have  ready access  to 
  national  EAS information  from  other sources,  including  its 
  cable   systems.   Pine   Forest  further   submits  that   its 
  subscribers will have  access to EAS information through  over-
  the-air reception of broadcast television and other sources.  

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information  submitted  by Pine  Forest,  we  conclude  that  a 
  temporary,  36-month  waiver   of  Section  11.11(a)  for   the 
  captioned system  is warranted.9  In  particular, we find  that 
  the cost  of EAS equipment  for this small  cable system  could 
  impose a financial hardship on Pine Forest.  

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   Sullivan 
  Communications, Inc. d/b/a  Pine Forest Cablevision IS  GRANTED 
  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the Rules  until October  1, 
  2005  for the captioned cable television system.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER  ORDERED that  Sullivan  Communications, 
  Inc.  d/b/a Pine  Forest  Cablevision,  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  Jeff 
  Sullivan, President, Sullivan Communications, Inc. d//b/a  Pine 
  Forest Cablevision, 1039 Bastrop, Texas 78602.  

                         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 waiver will extend 36 months from October 1, 2002,  until 
October 1, 2005.    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.