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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
SM Cable Holdings, L.L.C.       )    File No. EB-02-TS-301
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in the States of:  )
                                )    
Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho,     )
Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah,    )
and Wyoming                     )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 

Adopted:  January 10, 2003              Released:   January   13, 
2003

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

1.        In this Order, we grant SM Cable Holdings, L.L.C. (``SM 
  Cable'')  temporary   waivers  of  Section   11.11(a)  of   the 
  Commission's  Rules   (``Rules'')  for  180  cable   television 
  systems in  the 11 above-  captioned states.  Specifically,  we 
  grant temporary,  12-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for  12 
  cable  television systems  and temporary,  36-month waivers  of 
  Section 11.11(a)  for 168  cable television  systems listed  in 
  Attachment A.  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  July  11,  2002,  SM  Cable  filed  a  request  for 
  temporary 36-month waivers  of Section 11.11(a) for 180  small, 
  rural cable systems in the 11 captioned states.  In support  of 
  its waiver  request,      SM  Cable indicates that  168 of  its 
  cable  systems serve  less  than 1,000  subscribers,  with  146 
  systems serving  less than  500 subscribers.   In addition,  SM 
  Cable notes  that only 12  of its systems  serve between  1,029 
  and 2,792 subscribers.   Based on price quotes provided by  EAS 
  equipment manufacturers,           SM Cable  estimates that  it 
  would cost  an average of approximately  $7,300 to install  EAS 
  equipment  at  each  of these  systems  for  a  total  cost  of 
  $1,314,000.   SM Cable  asserts that  this cost  will impose  a 
  substantial  financial hardship  on it  and provides  financial 
  statements for 2000 and 2001 in support of this assertion.   SM 
  Cable submits that its subscribers will continue to have  ready 
  access  to  national   EAS  information  from  other   sources, 
  including  many of  the programmed  channels carried  over  its 
  cable systems.  SM Cable 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            SM  Cable, we  decline  to 
  issue temporary,  36-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for  12 
  of the  cable systems.   However, we  conclude that  temporary, 
  12-month waivers of  Section 11.11(a) for 12 cable systems  and 
  temporary,  36-month  waivers  of  Section  11.11(a)  for   168 
  systems  are  warranted.9  In  particular,  we  find  that  the 
  estimated $1,314,000.00 cost  of EAS equipment for these  small 
  cable systems could impose a financial hardship on SM Cable. 

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 SM Cable  Holdings, 
  L.L.C.  IS GRANTED  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of the  Rules 
  until October  1, 2003 for 12  cable television systems and  IS 
  GRANTED waivers of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules until  October 
  1, 2005 for  168 cable television systems listed in  Attachment 
  A.

7.        IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED that SM  Cable Holdings,  L.L.C. 
  place a copy of these waivers in its systems files.

8.        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by  Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to  counsel 
  for SM Cable  Holdings, L.L.C., Sharon O'Malley Monahan,  Esq., 
  Fleischman  and Walsh,  L.L.P.,  1400 Sixteenth  Street,  N.W., 
  Washington, D.C. 20036.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                         


                         Joseph P. Casey
                         Chief, Technical and Public Safety 
Division
                         Enforcement Bureau

                         Attachment A

 SM Cable Holdings, L.L.C.

 Cable Systems:                         Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:         

Alabama
Andalusia (Heath), Alabama                   October 1, 2003
Ashville, Alabama                       October 1, 2003
Barnwell, Alabama                       October 1, 2003
Blount County, Alabama                  October 1, 2003
Good Hope, Alabama                      October 1, 2003

Addison, Alabama                        October 1, 2005
Beatrice, Alabama                       October 1, 2005
Castleberry, Alabama                         October 1, 2005
Daphne, Alabama                         October 1, 2005
Hayneville, Alabama                     October 1, 2005
Lowndes, Alabama                        October 1, 2005          
McKenzie, Alabama                       October 1, 2005
Montgomery, Alabama                     October 1, 2005          
Perdido Beach, Alabama                  October 1, 2005
Stapleton, Alabama                      October 1, 2005
St. Clair, Margaret, Alabama                 October 1, 2005

California
Frazier Park, California                     October 1, 2003
Lake Almanor, California                October 1, 2003

Cedarville, California                       October 1, 2005
Dorris, California                      October 1, 2005
Fall River, California                       October 1, 2005
Happy Camp, California                  October 1, 2005
Herlong Base, California                October 1, 2005
Klamath, California                     October 1, 2005
Olinda, California                      October 1, 2005          
Orick, California                       October 1, 2005
Trinity Center, California                   October 1, 2005
Tulelake, California                         October 1, 2005
Willow Creek, California                October 1, 2005

Florida
Port St. Joe, Florida                        October 1, 2003

Baker, Florida                          October 1, 2005
Dowling Park, Florida                        October 1, 2005
East Milton, Florida                         October 1, 2005

Cable Systems:                     Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:         

Greenville, Florida                     October 1, 2005
Holiday Heights, Florida                October 1, 2005
Lee, Florida                            October 1, 2005
Live Oak, Florida                       October 1, 2005
Marion Co. Highland, Florida                 October 1, 2005
Oak Forest, Florida                     October 1, 2005
Ozello, Florida                              October 1, 2005

Georgia
Abbeville, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Allentown, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Arabi, Georgia                          October 1, 2005
Attapulgus, Georgia                     October 1, 2005
Berlin, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Chauncey, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Climax, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Collins, Georgia                        October 1, 2005
Colquitt, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Dry Branch, Georgia                     October 1, 2005
Dudley, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
E. Baldwin Co., Georgia                 October 1, 2005
East Dublin, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Flint River, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Gibson, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Gordon, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Guyton, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Hayneville, Georgia                     October 1, 2005
Hoboken, Georgia                        October 1, 2005
Iron City, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Irwinton, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Jeffersonville, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Jones, Co./Haddock, Georgia                  October 1, 2005
Lake Blackshear/Cobb, Georgia                October 1, 2005
Leslie, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Midville, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Milan, Georgia                          October 1, 2005
N. Baldwin Co., Georgia                 October 1, 2005
Newton Co., Georgia                     October 1, 2005
Oak Park, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Pineview, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Pitts, Georgia                          October 1, 2005
Plains, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Port Wentworth, Georgia                 October 1, 2005
Portal, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Cable Systems:                     Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:         

Rebecca, Georgia                        October 1, 2005
Recovery, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Rentz, Georgia                          October 1, 2005
Rhine, Georgia                          October 1, 2005
Rochelle, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Sardis, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Seminole, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Smithville, Georgia                     October 1, 2005
Sparta, Georgia                              October 1, 2005
Stapleton, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Stillmore, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Surrency, Georgia                       October 1, 2005
Toomsboro, Georgia                      October 1, 2005
Uvalda, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Warwick, Georgia                        October 1, 2005
Whigham, Georgia                        October 1, 2005
Wiley Acres, Georgia                         October 1, 2005
Wrens, Georgia                          October 1, 2005

Idaho
Soda Springs, Idaho                     October 1, 2003

Arco, Idaho                             October 1, 2005
Ashton, Idaho                           October 1, 2005
Challis, Idaho                          October 1, 2005
Downey, Idaho                           October 1, 2005
Driggs, Idaho                           October 1, 2005
Lava, Idaho                             October 1, 2005
Mackay, Idaho                           October 1, 2005
Malad, Idaho                            October 1, 2005
McCammon, Idaho                         October 1, 2005
Victor, Idaho                           October 1, 2005

Montana
Baker, Montana                          October 1, 2005
Belt, Montana                           October 1, 2005
Big Sky, Montana                        October 1, 2005
Charlo, Montana                         October 1, 2005          
Chester, Montana                        October 1, 2005
Culbertson, Montana                     October 1, 2005
Darby, Montana                     October 1, 2005
Dutton, Montana                         October 1, 2005
Ennis, Montana                          October 1, 2005
Fromberg, Montana                       October 1, 2005
Cable Systems:                     Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:         

Harlowton, Montana                      October 1, 2005
Hot Springs, Montana                         October 1, 2005
Hysham, Montana                         October 1, 2005
Joliet, Montana                              October 1, 2005
Paradise, Montana                       October 1, 2005
Plains, Montana                              October 1, 2005
Plentywood, Montana                     October 1, 2005
Poplar, Montana                         October 1, 2005
Ryegate, Montana                        October 1, 2005
Scobey, Montana                         October 1, 2005
St. Ignatius, Montana                        October 1, 2005
St. Regis, Montana                      October 1, 2005
Valier, Montana                         October 1, 2005
Vaughn/Sun Pr., Montana                 October 1, 2005
West Billings, Montana                       October 1, 2005
West Yellowstone, Montana                    October 1, 2005

Nevada
Winnemucca, Nevada                      October 1, 2003     

Oregon
Shady Cove, Oregon                      October 1, 2003

Bonanza, Oregon                         October 1, 2005
Butte Falls, Oregon                     October 1, 2005
Chiloquin, Oregon                       October 1, 2005
Cove, Oregon                            October 1, 2005
Glendale, Oregon                        October 1, 2005
Haines, Oregon                          October 1, 2005
Imbler, Oregon                          October 1, 2005
Malin, Oregon                           October 1, 2005
Merrill, Oregon                              October 1, 2005
North Powder, Oregon                         October 1, 2005
Prospect, Oregon                        October 1, 2005
Sumpter, Oregon                         October 1, 2005

South Carolina
Bowman, South Carolina                  October 1, 2005
Cameron, South Carolina                 October 1, 2005
Clarendon Co., South Carolina                October 1, 2005
Ehrhardt, South Carolina                October 1, 2005
Holly Hill, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
Norway, South Carolina                       October 1, 2005
Cable Systems:                     Temporary Waiver Granted 
Until:         

Rowesville, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005
Santee, South Carolina                       October 1, 2005     
Springfield, South Carolina                  October 1, 2005
St. George, South Carolina                   October 1, 2005

Utah
Beaver, Utah                            October 1, 2005          
Brian Head, Utah                        October 1, 2005
Central, Utah                           October 1, 2005
Cleveland/Elmo, Utah                         October 1, 2005
Enoch, Utah                             October 1, 2005
Enterprise, Utah                        October 1, 2005
Escalante, Utah                              October 1, 2005
Eureka, Utah                            October 1, 2005
Glenwood, Utah                     October 1, 2005
Goshen, Utah                            October 1, 2005
Kanarraville, Utah                      October 1, 2005
Lyman, Utah                             October 1, 2005
Mayfield, Utah                          October 1, 2005
Mona, Utah                              October 1, 2005
New Harmony, Utah                       October 1, 2005
Panguitch, Utah                              October 1, 2005
Paragonah, Utah                         October 1, 2005
Parowan, Utah                           October 1, 2005
Santaquin, Utah                              October 1, 2005
Winchester, Utah                        October 1, 2005

Wyoming
Kemmerer, Wyoming                       October 1, 2003

Afton, Wyoming                     October 1, 2005
Dubois, Wyoming                         October 1, 2005
Medicine Bow, Wyoming                   October 1, 2005
Meeteetse, Wyoming                      October 1, 2005
Pinedale, Wyoming                       October 1, 2005

_________________________

  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 12-month waivers  will extend from October 1, 2002  until 
October 1,  2003,  and  the 36-month  waivers  will  extend  from 
October 1, 2002, until October 1, 2005.  Additionally, 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.