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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Small Town Cable Partners I, L.P.    )  File No. EB-02-TS-715
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )
Chapel Hill, Tennessee          )
Cornersville, Tennessee         )
Ethridge, Tennessee             )
Linden, Tennessee               )
Lobelville, Tennessee           )
Lynnville, Tennessee            )
Minor Hill, Tennessee           )
Surgoinsville, Tennessee        )
                                )
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 Small Town Cable Partners  I, 
  L.P. (``Small Town'') temporary waivers of Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  eight   above-
  captioned  cable television  systems.  Specifically,  we  grant 
  temporary waivers until October 1, 2003 for two cable  systems, 
  and  temporary waivers  until October  1,  2005 for  six  cable 
  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.        Small Town  filed  a request  for  temporary,  12-month 
  waivers  of   Section  11.11(a)   for  its   Chapel  Hill   and 
  Surgoinsville, Tennessee cable systems and temporary,  36-month 
  waivers  of Section  11.11(a) for  its Cornersville,  Ethridge, 
  Linden, Lobelville, Lynnville  and Minor Hill, Tennessee  cable 
  systems  on  November  29, 2002.   In  support  of  its  waiver 
  requests, Small Town  states that these are small, rural  cable 
  systems, with two  systems serving more than 1,000  subscribers 
  and six systems serving between 55 and 353 subscribers.   Based 
  on price quotes provided by EAS equipment manufacturers,  Small 
  Town  estimates that  it would  cost a  total of  approximately 
  $65,910 to install EAS equipment at these systems.  Small  Town 
  asserts  that this  cost will  impose a  substantial  financial 
  hardship on it  and provides its financial statements for  2001 
  and  2002 in  support of  this assertion.   In addition,  Small 
  Town submits that  its subscribers will continue to have  ready 
  access  to  national   EAS  information  from  other   sources, 
  including its cable systems.  In this regard, Small Town  notes 
  that  its subscribers  currently have  access to  national  EAS 
  messages on  at least  41 percent of  all programmed  channels. 
  Small Town  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  Small  Town,   we  conclude   that 
  temporary waivers  of Section 11.11(a)  from November 29,  2002 
  until October  1, 2003 for the  Chapel Hill and  Surgoinsville, 
  Tennessee  cable  systems and  from  November  29,  2002  until 
  October  1,  2005  for  the  Cornersville,  Ethridge,   Linden, 
  Lobelville, Lynnville and  Minor Hill, Tennessee cable  systems 
  are warranted.9  However, we note that Small Town did not  file 
  its waiver request  until November 29, 2002, after the  October 
  1,  2002 deadline  for cable  systems serving  10,000 or  fewer 
  subscribers to install EAS equipment.  We find that Small  Town 
  was in violation of the requirement in Section 11.11(a) of  the 
  Rules  to  install  EAS  equipment  by  October  1,  2002.   We 
  admonish Small Town 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  Small Town  Cable 
  Partners I,  L.P. IS GRANTED  a waiver of  Section 11.11(a)  of 
  the Rules from November 29, 2002 until October 1, 2003 for  the 
  Chapel  Hill  and  Surgoinsville,  Tennessee  cable  television 
  systems and  IS GRANTED  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the 
  Rules from  November 29,  2002 until  October 1,  2005 for  the 
  Cornersville,  Ethridge,  Linden,  Lobelville,  Lynnville   and 
  Minor Hill, Tennessee cable television systems. 

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Small Town Cable Partners I, 
  L.P. 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 Small Town Cable  Partners, 
  I, L.P. 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  Small  Town   Cable  Partners  I,  L.P.,  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 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.