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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Vista III Media, LLC ) File No. EB-02-TS-285
Operator of Cable Systems in: )
Aberdeen, Mississippi )
Holly Springs, Mississippi )
Nettleton, Mississippi )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: February 2, 2004 Released: February 4,
By the Director, Office of Homeland Security, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we grant the request of Vista III Media,
LLC (``Vista'') to extend the temporary, 12-month waivers of
Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')
previously granted for the three above-captioned cable
television systems.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 2, 2002, Vista filed a request for temporary,
18-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) for five small rural
cable systems in Aberdeen, Booneville, Holly Springs,
Nettleton and New Albany, Mississippi. In its waiver request,
Vista stated that these cable systems served between 1,431 and
4,406 subscribers. In support of its waiver request, Vista
estimated that it would cost a total of $46,000 to install EAS
equipment at the five cable systems. Vista asserted that the
cost to install EAS equipment at these cable systems would
impose a substantial financial hardship on it. Additionally,
Vista noted that it intended to eliminate the five cable
system headends at the end of 2003 by interconnecting the
systems with two other cable system headends. On October 25,
2002, we granted Vista temporary, 12-month waivers of Section
11.11(a) for the five cable systems.8 We concluded that the
financial data and other information submitted by Millennium
did not justify a waiver period of longer duration for the
five cable systems.
4. On September 30, 2003, Vista filed a request for
temporary, nine-month extensions to the 12-month waivers
granted in the Waiver Order for the three captioned cable
systems. Vista states that the consolidation project for the
captioned systems will not be completed before the October 1,
2003 expiration date of the 12-month waivers. Vista notes
that a franchising agreement and local government approvals of
permits delayed completion of the interconnection plans for
the captioned cable systems. Vista indicates that it expects
to complete interconnection of the Aberdeen and Nettleton
systems to the Amory, Mississippi headend prior to the end of
the first quarter of 2004 and to complete the interconnection
of the Holly Springs system to the Guntown, Mississippi
headend prior to the end of June 30, 2004. Additionally,
Vista submits updated financial data for these cable systems.
5. Based on the additional financial data and other
information submitted by Vista, we conclude that a nine-month
extension of the temporary, 12-month waiver of Section
11.11(a) for the Holly Springs cable system is warranted.
However, since Vista expects to complete interconnection of
the Aberdeen and Nettleton systems to the Amory headend by the
end of the first quarter of 2004, we do not believe that nine-
month extensions are warranted for these systems. Rather, we
conclude that six-month extensions of the temporary, 12-month
waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the Aberdeen and Nettleton
cable systems are warranted.9
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b), 0.311 of the Rules,10 Vista III Media, LLC IS
GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules until April
1, 2004 for the Aberdeen and Nettleton, Mississippi cable
television systems and IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a)
of the Rules until July 1, 2004 for the Holly Springs,
Mississippi cable television system.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Vista III Media, LLC place a
copy of this waiver extension 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 Vista III Media, LLC, J Christopher Redding, Esq.,
Dow, Lohnes & Albertson, PLLC, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue,
N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20036-6802.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Dailey
Director, Office of Homeland Security
1 Vista III Digital Media Systems, L.L.C., 17 FCC Rcd 20864
(Enf. Bur., Tech. & Pub. Safety Div., 2002) (``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 17 FCC Rcd at 20864.
9 The six-month waiver will extend from October 1, 2003, until
April 1, 2004, and the nine-month waiver will extend from October
1, 2003, until July 1, 2004. We clarify that the waivers we are
granting also encompass the EAS testing and monitoring
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b), 0.311.