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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Complete Communication Services )    File No. EB-02-TS-307
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
State Center, Iowa              )
Stratford, Iowa                 )
Roland, Iowa                    )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  January 31, 2003              Released:   February   5, 
2003 

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

1.        In this Order, we grant Complete Communication Services 
  (``CCS'')  a  temporary,          12-month  waiver  of  Section 
  11.11(a) of  the Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') for the  cable 
  television system  in Stratford, Iowa  and temporary,  36-month 
  waivers  of  Section  11.11(a)  of  the  Rules  for  the  cable 
  television systems in  State Center and Roland, Iowa.   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.        CCS filed a request for a permanent or five-year waiver 
  of Section  11.11(a) for  the three captioned  cable system  on 
  July 11,  2002.  In support of  its waiver request, CCS  states 
  that these are  small, rural cable systems serving between  226 
  and 1,237 subscribers.   Based on price quotes provided by  EAS 
  equipment  manufacturers,  CCS estimates  that  it  would  cost 
  between $21,000  and 30,000 to install  EAS equipment at  these 
  cable  systems.  CCS  asserts  that  this cost  will  impose  a 
  substantial  financial hardship  on it  and provides  financial 
  data  for 2000  and  2001 in  support  of this  assertion.   In 
  addition, CCS  submits that  its subscribers  will continue  to 
  have  ready  access to  national  EAS  information  from  other 
  sources,  including its  cable systems.   In this  regard,  CCS 
  notes that  its subscribers currently  have access to  national 
  EAS  messages on  64% of  all  programmed channels.   CCS  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 CCS,  we   find that  a permanent  or 
  five-year waiver  of Section 11.11(a)  for the captioned  cable 
  systems  is  not  warranted.   However,  we  conclude  that   a 
  temporary, 12-month  waiver of Section  11.11(a) for one  cable 
  system and temporary, 36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a)  for 
  two cable systems are warranted.9  In particular, we find  that 
  the  estimated $21,000  plus cost  of EAS  equipment for  these 
  small cable systems could impose a financial hardship on CCS.

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   Complete 
  Communication Systems IS  GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the  Rules until  October 1,  2003 for  the Stratford,  Iowa 
  cable  television system  and  IS GRANTED  waivers  of  Section 
  11.11(a)  of the  Rules until  October 1,  2005 for  the  State 
  Center and Roland, Iowa cable television systems.

7.        IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  that  Complete  Communication 
  Systems 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  Randall 
  Baker, General  Manager, Complete Communication Services,  Post 
  Office Box 438, 1001 Tennyson, Stratford, Iowa 50249.

                         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, and the 36-month waiver will extend from October 
1, 2002 until October 1, 2005.  Additionally, 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.