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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Johnsonburg Community Television, Inc. ) File No. EB-02-TS-
Operator of Cable System in: )
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: November 13, 2003 Released: November 17,
By the Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we deny the request of Johnsonburg
Community Television, Inc. (``JCTI'') to extend the temporary,
12-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'') previously granted for the above-captioned cable
television system.1 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, 2002.2
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.3 In 1994, the Commission adopted rules requiring
cable systems to participate in EAS.4 In 1997, the Commission
amended the EAS rules to provide financial relief for small
cable systems.5 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).6 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.7 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
3. On July 29, 2002, JCTI filed a request for a temporary,
24-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the captioned cable
system. In its waiver request, JCTI stated that this small,
rural, cable system served approximately 1,432 subscribers.
In support of its waiver request, JCTI asserted that the
estimated $10,000 cost to install EAS equipment at the system
would impose a substantial financial hardship on it and
provided financial statements for 2001 and 2002 in support of
this assertion. On May 2, 2003, we granted JCTI a
temporary, 12-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for its small
cable system.8 We concluded that the financial data and other
information submitted by JCTI did not justify a waiver period
of longer duration.
4. On September 15, 2003, JCTI filed a request for a 24-
month extension to the temporary, 12-month waiver granted in
the Waiver Order for the captioned cable system. JCTI states
that it is a non-profit company with a growing accumulated
deficit. JCTI further states that the captioned cable system
serves approximately 1,385 subscribers, reflecting a 3.3
percent customer loss within the year. JCTI submits that the
deterioration of its customer base and finances has increased
its financial hardship. JCTI asserts that an extension will
allow time for the price of EAS equipment to drop and for JCTI
to budget to purchase the equipment.
5. Based upon our review of the additional information
submitted by JCTI, we do not find that an extension of the 12-
month waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules granted for the
captioned cable system is warranted. In particular, the
information provided by JCTI does not support financial
hardship of a magnitude that would warrant a waiver extension
to install EAS equipment. JCTI's gross income is
significantly more than the cost of EAS equipment. Indeed,
its financial statement shows that it has liquid assets
sufficient to cover the expense. Regarding JCTI's assertion
that an extension will allow time for the price of EAS
equipment to drop, we note that the Commission has authorized
cable systems serving fewer than 5,000 subscribers to install
FCC certified decoder-only units, rather than both encoders
and decoders.9 Such decoder-only units are available at a
substantially lower cost.10 Further, JCTI has had more than
eight years since the EAS rules were initially adopted to
budget for EAS equipment. It is particularly troubling that
when we gave JCTI a one-year extension rather than a two-year
extension, JCTI did not then begin budgeting for EAS equipment
and, indeed, now seeks an even longer extension (a total of 36
months from October 1, 2002) that we originally denied.
Accordingly, we deny JCTI's request for a waiver extension.
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,11 Johnsonburg
Community Television, Inc.'s request for a waiver extension IS
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to counsel
for Johnsonburg Community Television, 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
1 Johnsonburg Community Television, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 8554
(Enf. Bur., Tech. & Pub. Safety Div., 2003) (``Waiver Order'').
2 47 C.F.R. § 11.11(a).
3 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).
4 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), reconsideration granted in part,
denied in part, 10 FCC Rcd 11494 (1995).
5 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).
6 Id. at 15512-13.
7 Id. at 15516-15518.
8 18 FCC Rcd at 8554.
9 Amendment of Part 11 of the Commission's Rules Regarding the
Emergency Alert System, Report and Order, EB Docket No. 01-66, 17
FCC Rcd 4055 (2002).
10 Three manufacturers have received equipment certifications
from the Commission for decoder-only units. See
www.fcc.gov/eb/eas/certsel.html. See also Public Notice, Notice
Regarding FCC Certification of EAS Decoder, DA 02-2312 (September
19, 2002). EAS decoders have been advertised at a cost of
11 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.