Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version

******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.

*****************************************************************



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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Kudzu Cable TV, Inc.            )    File No. EB-02-TS-325
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Turtletown, Tennessee           )
Ranger, North Carolina          )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  July 15, 2003                 Released:  July 17, 2003

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

1.        In this Order, we grant Kudzu Cable TV, Inc.,  (``Kudzu 
  Cable'')  temporary, 36-month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for the two  above-captioned 
  cable  television  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.        Kudzu Cable  filed a  request for  temporary,  36-month 
  waivers  of Section  11.11(a)  for the    two  captioned  cable 
  systems on  July 19, 2002.  In  support of its waiver  request, 
  Kudzu Cable states that   these are small, rural cable  systems 
  with  few  subscribers.   Kudzu  Cable  also  states  that  the 
  Turtletown, Tennessee  system serves 371  subscribers, and  the 
  Ranger, North  Carolina system serves  425 subscribers.   Based 
  on price quotes provided by EAS equipment manufacturers,  Kudzu 
  Cable estimates  that it  would cost a  total of  approximately 
  $19,000 to  install EAS  equipment at the  two systems.   Kudzu 
  Cable  asserts  that  this  cost  will  impose  a   substantial 
  financial hardship on  it and provides its financial  statement 
  for  2001 in  support of  this assertion.   In addition,  Kudzu 
  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,  Kudzu  Cable 
  notes that  its subscribers currently  have access to  national 
  EAS  messages  on  at  least  47  percent  of  all   programmed 
  channels.   Kudzu 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   Kudzu  Cable,  we  conclude   that 
  temporary, 36-month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  for the  two 
  captioned systems are warranted.9  In particular, we find  that 
  the estimated  $19,000 cost  of EAS equipment  for these  small 
  cable systems could impose a financial hardship on Kudzu 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 Kudzu Cable TV,  Inc. 
  IS GRANTED  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the Rules  until 
  October  1,  2005   for  the  two  captioned  cable  television 
  systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Kudzu Cable TV, 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  Kudzu  Cable TV,  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 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.