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                )
                                )
Bowen Cablevision, Inc.         )    File No. EB-02-TS-321
                                )    
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
Chapmanville, West Virginia     )
Lyburn, West Virginia           )
Mud River, West Virginia        )
Six Mile, West Virginia         )
                                )
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  Bowen  Cablevision,   Inc. 
  (``Bowen'') temporary, 36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules   (``Rules'')  for  the  four   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.        Bowen filed a request for a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  for the  four captioned  cable systems  on July  10, 2002.   In 
  support  of its  waiver request,  Bowen states  that these  are 
  small,  rural cable  systems which  serve between  111 and  281 
  subscribers. Based  on price quotes  provided by EAS  equipment 
  manufacturers, Bowen estimates that it would cost over  $20,000 
  to install  EAS equipment at the  systems.  Bowen asserts  that 
  this  cost will  impose a  substantial financial  hardship  and 
  provides financial  data for 2000 and  2001 in support of  this 
  assertion.   In addition,  Bowen submits  that the  subscribers 
  will continue to have ready access to national EAS  information 
  from  other sources,  including  its cable  systems.   In  this 
  regard, Bowen notes  that subscribers currently have access  to 
  national  EAS  messages on  approximately  50  percent  of  all 
  programmed channels.   Bowen further  submits that  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  Bowen, we  conclude that  temporary, 
  36-month waivers  of Section 11.11(a)  for the captioned  cable 
  systems  are  warranted.9  In  particular,  we  find  that  the 
  estimated $20,000  plus cost of EAS  equipment for these  small 
  cable systems could impose a financial hardship on Bowen.  

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 Bowen  Cablevision, 
  Inc.  IS GRANTED  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the  Rules 
  until October 1,  2005 for the four captioned cable  television 
  systems.

7.        IT IS  FURTHER  ORDERED that  Bowen  Cablevision,  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  Goldie 
  Bowen,  President, Bowen  Cablevision,  Inc., Post  Office  Box 
  130, Wilkinson, West Virginia 25653.

                         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.   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.