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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
CableAmerica Corporation        )    File No. EB-02-TS-458
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Coolidge, Arizona               )
Gila Bend, Arizona              )
Eagle Harbor, Michigan          )
Doolittle, Missouri             )
Maryland Heights, Missouri      )
Richland, Missouri              )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:   November 12, 2002            Released:   November  26, 
2002

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

1.        In  this  Order,  we  grant  CableAmerica   Corporation 
  (``CableAmerica'')  temporary waivers  of Section  11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') for  the each  of the  six 
  above-captioned  cable television  systems.   Specifically,  we 
  grant temporary, 12-month  waivers of Section 11.11(a) for  the 
  Coolidge, Arizona and Maryland Hieghts, Missouri cable  systems 
  and temporary,  36-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) for  the 
  Gilda  Bend,   Arizona,  Eagle  Harbor,  Michigan,   Doolittle, 
  Missouri  and   Richland,  Missouri  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.        CableAmerica filed  a request  for temporary,  12-month 
  waivers  and temporary,  36-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) 
  for the  six captioned cable  systems on August  23, 2002.   In 
  support of its  waiver request, CableAmerica states that  these 
  are  small, rural  cable systems  which serve  between 160  and 
  3,715  subscribers.  Based  on  price quotes  provided  by  EAS 
  equipment vendors,  CableAmerica estimates that  it would  cost 
  approximately  $48,000 to  install  EAS equipment  at  the  six 
  systems.  CableAmerica asserts that the cost of installing  EAS 
  equipment at these systems will impose a substantial  financial 
  hardship on it  and provides financial statements for 2000  and 
  2001 in support  of this assertion.  In addition,  CableAmerica 
  submits  that  its subscribers  will  continue  to  have  ready 
  access  to  national   EAS  information  from  other   sources, 
  including  its cable  systems. CableAmerica  also asserts  that 
  its subscribers  will have  access to  EAS information  through 
  over-the-air  reception  of  broadcast  television  and   radio 
  stations and other sources.

4.        Based upon our review of  the financial data and  other 
  information  submitted   by  CableAmerica,  we  conclude   that 
  temporary,  12-month  waivers  of  Section  11.11(a)  for   the 
  Coolidge, Arizona  and Maryland Heights,  Missouri systems  and 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of Section  11.11(a) for the  Gila 
  Bend, Arizona, Eagle Harbor, Michigan, Doolittle and  Richland, 
  Missouri systems are  warranted.9  In particular, we find  that 
  the estimated cost of $48,000 of EAS equipment for these  small 
  cable   systems   could  impose   a   financial   hardship   on 
  CableAmerica.  

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   CableAmerica 
  Corporation IS  GRANTED a  waivers of Section  11.11(a) of  the 
  Rules  until October  1, 2003  for  the Coolidge,  Arizona  and 
  Maryland  Heights, Missouri  cable  television systems  and  IS 
  GRANTED  a  waiver  of Section  11.11(a)  of  the  Rules  until 
  October  1, 2005  for the  Gilda Bend,  Arizona, Eagle  Harbor, 
  Michigan,  Doolittle and  Richland, Missouri  cable  television 
  systems.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER  ORDERED that  CableAmerica  Corporation 
  place a copy of these waivers 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  CableAmerica Corporation,  James F.  Ireland, Esq.,  Cole, 
  Raywid  and Braverman,  1919 Pennsylvania  Avenue, N.W.,  Suite 
  200, Washington, D.C. 20006.

                         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.