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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Eagle Media, LLC ) File No. EB-02-TS-297
Operator of Cable System in the States of: )
Arkansas and Oklahoma )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: April 16, 2003 Released: April 21, 2003
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Order, we grant Eagle Media, LLC (``Eagle'')
temporary, 36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for 22 cable television system
in the two above-captioned states. 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,
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 July 9, 2002, Eagle filed a request for permanent or
five-year waivers of Section 11.11(a) for 22 small, rural
cable systems in the two captioned states. In support of its
waiver request, Eagle states that these are small, rural cable
systems which serve between 26 and 430 subscribers. Based on
price quotes provided by EAS equipment manufacturers, Eagle
estimates that it would cost approximately $8,500 to install
EAS equipment at each of these systems for a total cost of
$187,000. Eagle asserts that this cost will impose a
substantial financial hardship on it and provides financial
statements for 2000 and 2001 in support of this assertion.
Eagle indicates that subscribers will continue to have ready
access to national EAS information from other sources,
including many of the programmed channels carried over its
cable system. Eagle further indicates that 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 Eagle, we find that permanent or
five-year waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the 22 cable systems
are not warranted. However, we conclude that temporary, 36-
month waivers of Section 11.11(a) for these systems are
warranted.9 In particular, we find that the estimated $187,000
cost of EAS equipment for these small cable systems could
impose a financial hardship on Eagle.
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
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,12 Eagle Media, LLC IS
GRANTED waivers of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules until October
1, 2005 for the 22 cable television systems in the two
captioned states as listed in Attachment A.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Eagle Media, LLC 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 Eagle Media, LLC, Robert L. James, Esq., Cole, Raywid &
Braverman, LLP, 1919 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 200,
Washington, D.C. 20006.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
Eagle Media, LLC
Cable Systems: Temporary Waiver Granted
Booneville BHDC, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Branch/Ratcliff, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Casa, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Greenwood, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Knoxville, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Scranton, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Subiaco, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Wicherville, Arkansas October 1, 2005
Alex, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Apache, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Cement, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Chicken Creek, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Cookson, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Dougherty, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Elk Creek, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Grandfield, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Mountain View, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Paradise Hill, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Park Hill, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Sterling, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Randlett, Oklahoma October 1, 2005
Woodall, Oklahoma 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
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 waiver
we are granting also encompasses the EAS testing and monitoring
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.