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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Lycom Communications, Inc. ) File No. EB-03-TS-102
Operator of Cable Systems in: )
Louisa, Kentucky )
Blaine, Kentucky )
Charley, Kentucky )
Clifford, Kentucky-Glenhays, West Virginia )
Bonser, Ohio )
Proctorville, Ohio )
Genoa, West Virginia )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: July 1, 2003 Released: July 3, 2003
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Order, we grant Lycom Communications, Inc.
(``''Lycom'') temporary waivers of Section 11.11(a) of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for the seven above-captioned
cable television systems. Specifically, we grant a temporary
waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the system in Lousia, Kentucky
from April 9, 2003 until October 1, 2003, and temporary
waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the remaining six systems from
April 9, 2003 until October 1, 2005. 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. Lycom filed a request for temporary waivers of Section
11.11(a) for the seven captioned cable systems on April 9,
2003. In support of its waiver request, Lycom states that
these are small, rural cable systems, which serve between 40
and 1,302 subscribers. Lycom estimates that it will cost
approximately $56,700 to install EAS equipment at these
systems. Lycom asserts that this cost will impose a
substantial financial hardship on it and provides its
financial statement for 2002 in support of this assertion. In
addition, Lycom states that it ordered EAS equipment for its
Louisa system in 2002, but subsequently discovered that the
equipment was not compatible with its headend equipment.
Lycom states that it is determining which EAS equipment will
work with its Louisa headend and expects to install EAS
equipment at this headend by October 1, 2003. Lycom also
states that it plans to interconnect its Charley, Kentucky,
Genoa, West Virginia, and Clifford, Kentucky-Glenhays, West
Virginia systems with the Louisa headend in the next two years
and asserts that this interconnection will save the company
the expense of installing EAS equipment at these three
systems. Lycom expects to install EAS equipment at the
remaining three systems within three years. Finally, Lycom
asserts that its subscribers will continue to have ready
access to national EAS information from other sources,
including its cable system.
4. Based upon our review of the financial data and other
information submitted by Lycom, we conclude that temporary
waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the seven captioned cable
systems are warranted.9 In particular, we find that the
estimated $56,700 cost of EAS equipment for these small
systems could impose a financial hardship on Lycom. We grant
Lycom a temporary waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the Lousia,
Kentucky cable system from April 9, 2003 until October 1,
2003, and temporary waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the
remaining six cable systems from April 9, 2003 until October
1, 2005. However, we note that Lycom did not file its waiver
request until April 9, 2003, after the October 1, 2002
deadline for cable systems serving 10,000 or fewer subscribers
to install EAS equipment. We find that Lycom was in violation
of the requirement in Section 11.11(a) of the Rules to install
EAS equipment by October 1, 2002. We admonish Lycom for this
5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,10 Lycom
Communications, Inc. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a)
of the Rules from April 9, 2003 until October 1, 2003 for the
Louisa, Kentucky cable television system, and IS GRANTED
waivers of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules from April 9, 2003
until October 1, 2005 for the cable television systems in
Blaine, Kentucky, Charley, Kentucky, Clifford, Kentucky-
Glenhays, West Virginia, Bonser, Ohio, Proctorville, Ohio and
Genoa, West Virginia.
6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Lycom Communications, Inc.
IS ADMONISHED for violating the requirement in Section
11.11(a) of the Rules to install EAS equipment by October 1,
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Lycom Communications, Inc.
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 Lycom Communications, Inc., Christopher C.
Cinnamon, Esq., Cinnamon Mueller, 307 North Michigan Avenue,
Suite 1020, Chicago, Illinois 60601.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
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 We clarify that the waiver we are granting also encompasses
the EAS testing and monitoring requirements.
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.