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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Blakely Cable Television, Inc.  )    File No. EB-02-TS-625
                                )
Operator of Cables Systems in:  )
                                )    
Columbia, Alabama               )
Baconton, Georgia               )
Blakely, Georgia                )
Leary, Georgia                  )
Morgan, Georgia                 )
Newton, Georgia                 )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  July 9, 2003                  Released:  July 14, 2003

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

1.        In this Order, we grant Blakely Cable Television,  Inc. 
  (``Blakely Cable'')  temporary waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for the six  above-captioned 
  cable television  systems.  Specifically, we  grant a  12-month 
  waiver for the cable system in Blakely, Georgia and a  36-month 
  waiver  for  the   cable  systems  in  Columbia,  Alabama   and 
  Baconton,  Leary,   Morgan,  and   Newton,  Georgia.    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.        Blakely Cable filed a  request for temporary,  12-month 
  and temporary,  36-month waivers  of Section  11.11(a) for  the 
  six  captioned small,  rural  cable systems  on  September  30, 
  2002.  In support  of its waiver request, Blakely Cable  states 
  that the Blakely,  Georgia system serves 1,676 subscribers  and 
  that each  of the five other systems  serve between 57 and  251 
  subscribers.   Based  on   price  quotes  from  EAS   equipment 
  manufacturers, Blakely  Cable estimates  that it  would cost  a 
  total  of approximately  $60,000 to  install EAS  equipment  at 
  each of  these systems.  Blakely Cable  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, Blakely  Cable submits  that 
  its subscribers will continue to have ready access to  national 
  EAS  information  from  other  sources,  including  its   cable 
  systems.   In  this  regard,  Blakely  Cable  notes  that   its 
  subscribers currently have  access to national EAS messages  on 
  at least 46 percent of all programmed channels.  Blakely  Cable 
  further submits  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  Blakely Cable,  we conclude  that  a 
  temporary, 12-month waiver  of Section 11.11(a) for one of  the 
  captioned cable  systems and  a temporary,  36-month waiver  of 
  Section 11.11(a)  for five of the  captioned cable systems  are 
  warranted.9  In  particular, we find that  the $60,000 cost  of 
  EAS  equipment for  these small  cable systems  could impose  a 
  financial hardship on Blakely Cable.  

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  Blakely  Cable 
  Television, Inc.  IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Rules until  October  1,  2003 for  the  cable  television 
  system in Blakely, Georgia  and IS GRANTED a waiver of  Section 
  11.11(a)  of the  Rules until  October 1,  2005 for  the  cable 
  television  systems in  Columbia, Alabama;  Baconton,  Georgia; 
  Leary, Georgia; Morgan, Georgia and Newton, Georgia.

7.         IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that Blakely Cable  Television, 
  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 Blakely  Cable Television, 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 
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.  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.