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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
D & D Cable Systems, Inc.       )
                                )    File No. EB-02-TS-652  
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )    
St. Mary, Missouri              )
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri        )
Frohna, Missouri                )    
                                )
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 D & D Cable Systems, Inc.  (``D 
  & D'') temporary,  36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) of  the 
  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'') for  the three  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.        D & D filed a  request for temporary, 36-month  waivers 
  of Section  11.11(a) for the three  captioned cable systems  on 
  September 30,  2002.  In support of its  waiver request, D &  D 
  states that these  are small, rural cable systems, which  serve 
  between  78  and  397  subscribers.   Based  on  price   quotes 
  provided by  EAS equipment  vendors, D  & D  estimates that  it 
  would  cost more  than  $35,000  to purchase  and  install  EAS 
  equipment at these systems.  D & D 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, D & D  submits that its subscribers will continue  to 
  have  ready  access to  national  EAS  information  from  other 
  sources, including  its cable systems.  In  this regard, D &  D 
  notes that  its subscribers currently  have access to  national 
  EAS  messages  on  at  least  42  percent  of  all   programmed 
  channels.   D  & D  further 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 D  & D, we  conclude that  temporary, 
  36-month waivers  of Section 11.11(a)  for the three  captioned 
  systems  are  warranted.9  In  particular,  we  find  that  the 
  estimated $35,000 cost  of EAS equipment for these small  cable 
  systems could impose a financial hardship on D & D.  

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 D & D Cable  Systems, 
  Inc.  IS GRANTED  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the  Rules 
  until October  1, 2005  for each  of the three captioned  cable 
  television systems.

7.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED  that D &  D Cable Systems,  Inc. 
  place a copy of this waiver in its system files.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for D & D Cable Systems, Inc., Frank J. Elpers, Esq., Elpers  & 
  Inman, P.C., 601  Market Street, P.O. Box 404, Ste.  Genevieve, 
  Missouri 63670.  

                         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.