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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
New England Cablevision, Inc. and    )  File No. EB-02-TS-635
Flasher Cablevision, Inc.       )    File No. EB-02-TS-646
                                )    
Operators of Cable Systems in:  )
                                )
New England, North Dakota and   )
Flasher, North Dakota           )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  February 25, 2003             Released:  March 3, 2003

By the Chief, Technical  and Public Safety Division,  Enforcement 
Bureau:

      1.  In this Order, we  grant New England Cablevision,  Inc. 
        and   Flasher  Cablevision,   Inc.  (``the   Companies'') 
        temporary,  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) of  the 
        Commission's   Rules  (``Rules'')  for  the  two   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.  On October 1, 2002, the  Companies filed a request  for 
        waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the two captioned  small, 
        rural  cable systems.   In support  of its  request,  the 
        Companies  states  that  the New  England,  North  Dakota 
        cable  system serves approximately  150 subscribers,  and 
        the   Flasher,   North   Dakota   cable   system   serves 
        approximately  55  subscribers.  Based  on  price  quotes 
        provided  by EAS equipment  manufacturers, the  Companies 
        estimate  that it  would cost  a total  of  approximately 
        $20,000 to  install EAS equipment at these systems.   The 
        Companies  assert   that  the  cost  of  installing   EAS 
        equipment  at  these systems  will impose  a  substantial 
        financial   hardship  on  them   and  provide   financial 
        statements  for 2001  in support of  this assertion.   In 
        addition,  the Companies  indicate that  its  subscribers 
        will  continue  to  have ready  access  to  national  EAS 
        information  from  other  sources,  including  its  cable 
        system's   programmed  channels.    The  Companies   also 
        indicate  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 the Companies, we conclude  that 
        temporary, 36-month  waivers of Section 11.11(a) for  the 
        two   captioned  cable   systems  are   warranted.9    In 
        particular,  we find that the  estimated $20,000 cost  of 
        EAS equipment for these small cable systems could  impose 
        a financial hardship on the Companies.

      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 New  England 
        Cablevision,  Inc.  and  Flasher  Cablevision,  Inc.  ARE 
        GRANTED  waivers of Section 11.11(a)  of the Rules  until 
        October  1, 2005 for the  two captioned cable  television 
        systems.

      7.  IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that New  England  Cablevision, 
        Inc. and  Flasher Cablevision, Inc. place a copy of  this 
        waiver in their system files.

      8.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
        be  sent by  Certified Mail Return  Receipt Requested  to 
        the  owner of New England  Cablevision, Inc. and  Flasher 
        Cablevision, Inc.,  Mr. Glenn Giese, Post Office Box  39, 
        New England, North Dakota 58647.

                         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.