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                )
                                )
Nova Cable Management, Inc.     )    No. EB-02-TS-697
                                )
Operator of Cable System in:    )
                                )    
Gilmore Township, Michigan      )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  August 14, 2003               Released:    August   18, 
2003

By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:

1.        In this  Order, we  grant Nova  Cable Management,  Inc. 
  (``Nova Cable'') a temporary waiver of Section 11.11(a) of  the 
  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') for  the above-captioned  cable 
  television  system.  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.        Nova Cable filed  a request for  a temporary,  36-month 
  waiver  of Section  11.11(a)  for the  captioned  small,  rural 
  cable system  on November 6,  2002.  In support  of its  waiver 
  request, Nova Cable states that the Gilmore Township,  Michigan 
  cable system  serves approximately 107  subscribers.  Based  on 
  price  quotes provided  by  EAS equipment  manufacturers,  Nova 
  Cable  estimates that  it would  cost approximately  $9,000  to 
  install EAS equipment at this system.  Nova Cable asserts  that 
  this cost  will impose a substantial  financial hardship on  it 
  and provides its  financial statements for 2000, 2001 and  2002 
  in support of this assertion.  In addition, Nova 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,  Nova  Cable notes  that  its 
  subscribers currently have  access to national EAS messages  on 
  approximately  40 percent  of  all programmed  channels.   Nova 
  Cable 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  Nova  Cable,  we  conclude  that  a 
  temporary waiver  of Section 11.11(a)  for the captioned  cable 
  system  from  November  6,  2002  until  October  1,  2005   is 
  warranted.9   However, we  note  that  Nova did  not  file  its 
  waiver request  until November  6, 2002, after  the October  1, 
  2002  deadline  for  cable  systems  serving  10,000  or  fewer 
  subscribers to  install EAS equipment.  We  find that Nova  was 
  in  violation of  the requirement  in Section  11.11(a) of  the 
  Rules  to  install  EAS  equipment  by  October  1,  2002.   We 
  admonish Nova for this violation.

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.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  Nova   Cable 
  Management, Inc.  IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules from November  6, 2002 until October 1, 2005 for  the 
  captioned cable television system.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Nova Cable Management,  Inc. 
  IS  ADMONISHED  for   violating  the  requirement  in   Section 
  11.11(a) of  the Rules to install  EAS equipment by October  1, 
  2002.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Nova Cable Management,  Inc. 
  place a copy of this waiver in its system files.

9.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for  Nova  Cable Management,  Inc.,  Christopher  C.  Cinnamon, 
  Esq., Cinnamon Mueller, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite  1020, 
  Chicago, Illinois 60601. 

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief, Spectrum Enforcement 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 We clarify that  the waiver we are granting also  encompasses 
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.