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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Wireless Direct Broadcast System)    File No. EB-02-TS-684
                                )
Operator of Wireless Cable System in:)
                                )
Bisbee, Arizona                 )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  August 19, 2003               Released:    August   21, 
2003

By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:

1.        In this  Order,  we  grant  Wireless  Direct  Broadcast 
  system (``WDBS'')  a temporary  waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules (``Rules'')  for  the  above-captioned 
  wireless cable  television system.   Section 11.11(a)  requires 
  wireless  cable systems  serving fewer  than 5,000  subscribers 
  from  a single  transmission site  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  extend  the  EAS  requirements  to 
  wireless  cable systems  and 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.        WDBS filed a request  for a temporary, 48-month  waiver 
  of Section 11.11(a) for the captioned wireless cable system  on 
  October  30, 2002.   In support  of  its waiver  request,  WDBS 
  states that this small, rural wireless cable system serves  935 
  subscribers.  Based on  price quotes provided by EAS  equipment 
  vendors,  WDBS  estimates  that  it  would  cost  approximately 
  $10,000 to purchase  and install EAS equipment at this  system.  
  WDBS  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,  WDBS 
  submits  that  its subscribers  will  continue  to  have  ready 
  access  to   national  EAS  information   from  other   sources 
  including  its  cable  system.   WDBS  also  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  WDBS, we deny WDBS a 48-month  waiver 
  of Section  11.11(a) but conclude that  a temporary waiver  for 
  the  captioned wireless  cable  system from  October  30,  2002 
  until October  1, 2005  is warranted.9  However,  we note  that 
  WDBS did  not file its waiver  request until October 30,  2002, 
  after the  October 1, 2002 deadline  for cable systems  serving 
  10,000 or fewer subscribers to install EAS equipment.  We  find 
  that  WDBS was  in  violation  of the  requirement  in  Section 
  11.11(a) of  the Rules to install  EAS equipment by October  1, 
  2002.  We admonish WDBS 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, 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  Wireless  Direct 
  Broadcast System  IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules from October 30, 2002 until October 1, 2005  for  the 
  captioned wireless cable television system.

7.        IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that  Wireless Direct  Broadcast 
  System  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  Wireless Direct  Broadcast 
  System place a copy of this waiver in its system file.

9.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for  Wireless  Direct Broadcast  System,  Suzanne  S.  Goodwyn, 
  Esq., 1661 Hunting Creek Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.    

                              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.