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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Blue Mountain TV Cable Co.      )    File No. EB-02-TS-512
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )
Dayville, Oregon                )
John Day, Oregon                )
Prairie City, Oregon            )
Seneca, Oregon                  )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  May 9, 2003                   Released:  May 15, 2003

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

1.         In this  Order, we  grant Blue Mountain  TV Cable  Co. 
  (``Blue Mountain'')  temporary waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules   (``Rules'')  for  the  four   above-
  captioned cable  television systems. Specifically,  we grant  a 
  temporary,   12-month  waiver   for  one   cable  system,   and 
  temporary, 36-month waivers  for three 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.        Blue Mountain filed a  request for temporary,  36-month 
  waivers  of  Section 11.11(a)  for  the  four  captioned  cable 
  systems  on  September  9, 2002.   In  support  of  its  waiver 
  requests, Blue  Mountain states  that these  four small,  rural 
  cable systems have  few subscribers.  Blue Mountain notes  that 
  the Dayville  and Seneca, Oregon systems  serve between 32  and 
  35  subscribers, the  Prairie City,  Oregon system  serves  295 
  subscribers,  and the  John  Day, Oregon  system  serves  1,081 
  subscribers.  Based on  price quotes provided by EAS  equipment 
  manufacturers,  Blue  Mountain estimates  that  it  would  cost 
  approximately  $36,150  to  install  EAS  equipment  at   these 
  systems.  Blue  Mountain asserts that this  cost will impose  a 
  substantial  financial   hardship  on  it   and  provides   its 
  financial  statements for  2000 and  2001  in support  of  this 
  assertion.   In  addition,  Blue  Mountain  submits  that   its 
  subscribers will continue to have ready access to national  EAS 
  information from  other sources, including  its cable  systems. 
  Blue  Mountain 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  Blue Mountain,  we conclude  that  a 
  temporary, 36-month  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  for three  of 
  the captioned  cable systems  is warranted.   However, we  find 
  that a  temporary, 36-month waiver of  Section 11.11(a) is  not 
  warranted  for  the  John  Day  cable  system.   Therefore,  we 
  conclude that a temporary, 12-month waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  for this  cable system is warranted.9   In particular, we  find 
  that the  $36,150 cost of EAS  equipment for these small  cable 
  systems could impose a financial hardship on Blue Mountain.

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  Blue Mountain  TV 
  Cable Co. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the  Rules 
  until  October  1,   2003  for  the  John  Day,  Oregon   cable 
  television system and  IS GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the  Rules until October 1,  2005 for the Dayville,  Oregon, 
  Prairie  City,  Oregon  and  Seneca,  Oregon  cable  television 
  systems. 

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  Blue Mountain TV Cable  Co. 
  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  counsel 
  for Blue  Mountain TV Cable Co.,  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 
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  waivers  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.