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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Classic Communications, Inc. )
) File No.: EB-04-HS-040
Operator of Cable Television )
Systems in )
Leesville, Louisiana )
New Iberia, Louisiana )
Moreauville, Louisiana )
Nelson, Ohio )
Weatherford, Oklahoma )
Woodward, Oklahoma )
Purcell, Oklahoma )
Clarksville, Texas )
Eastland, Texas )
Burkburnett, Texas )
Request for Waiver of Section
11.11(a) of the Commission's
Adopted: August 30, 2004 Released: August 31,
By the Director, Office of Homeland Security, Enforcement Bureau
1. In this Order, we grant Classic
Communications, Inc. an extension to its temporary waivers of
section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (Rules)1 previously
granted for the above-captioned cable television systems.2
Section 11.11(a) of the Rules 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, 2002.3
2. The Cable Act of 1992 added new Section 624(g)
to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,4 and required that
cable systems be capable of providing EAS alerts to their
subscribers.5 In 1994, the Commission adopted rules requiring
cable systems to participate in EAS.6 In 1997, the Commission
amended the EAS rules to provide financial relief for small cable
systems.7 The Commission declined to exempt small cable systems
from the EAS requirements entirely, concluding that such an
exemption would be inconsistent with the statutory mandate of
Section 624(g).8 The amended rules 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.9 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.10
3. On March 26, 2002, Classic filed a
request for a permanent waiver or a temporary, five-year waiver
of section 11.11(a) for 569 small rural cable systems in ten
states. On July 18, 2002, Classic filed an amendment to its
waiver request which changed the number of cable system headends
to 559. Classic asserted that the estimated cost to install EAS
equipment would impose a substantial financial hardship on it.
In support of its waiver request, Classic, submitted financial
statements for 1999, 2000 and 2001 and indicated that it was
operating as debtor-in-possession under supervision of the
Bankruptcy Court.11 On October 7, 2002, we granted Classic
temporary 18-month waivers for the above-captioned systems from
October 1, 2002 to April 1, 2004.12 We declined to grant
Classic a permanent waiver of section 11.11(a); however, we
concluded that the financial data and other information submitted
by Classic justified an 18-month waiver of section 11.11(a) for
the above-captioned cable television systems.
4. On March 31, 2004, Classic filed a
request for a 90-day extension of its temporary waivers
previously granted for the above-captioned cable systems.13
Classic states that since its original waiver request was
granted, it has emerged from bankruptcy and is now under new
ownership and management and is now prepared to obtain the EAS
equipment for the above-caption cable systems. 14 In a
supplement to its petition on July 29, 2004, Classic states that
it has ordered EAS equipment for the subject cable systems and
that its EAS equipment supplier has advised that the equipment
will be shipped during the week of August 16, 2004. Classic
anticipates having the equipment installed and operational at all
the above-captioned systems within two weeks of receipt. Classic
has offered to notify the Commission when the equipment is
5. Based on our review of the
additional information submitted by Classic, we find that an
extension of its temporary waivers of section 11.11(a) of the
Rules for the above-captioned cable systems, are warranted.
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that,
pursuant to sections 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,15
Classic Communications, Inc. IS GRANTED temporary waivers of
section 11.11(a) of the Rules until October 1, 2004, for the
above captioned cable systems.16
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Classic
Communications, Inc. notify the Director, Office of Homeland
Security, Enforcement Bureau immediately upon installation of the
EAS equipment at the above-captioned cable systems by E-mail at
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Classic
Communications, Inc. place a copy of this waiver in its systems
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a
copy of this Order shall be sent by certified mail return receipt
requested to counsel for Classic Communications, Inc., Timothy P.
Tobin, Esq., Cole, Raywid & Braverman, L.L.P., 1919 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20006.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Dailey
Director, Office of Homeland Security
1 47 C.F.R. § 11.11(a).
2 Classic Communications, Inc., 47 FCC Rcd 19350 (2002).
4 The Communications Act of 1934 was amended by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat.
56 (1996 Act).
5 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).
6 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, 10 FCC Rcd 1786 (1994),
reconsideration granted in part, denied in part, 10 FCC Rcd 11494
7 Amendment of Part 73, Subpart G, of the Commission's Rules
Regarding the Emergency Broadcast System, Second Report and
Order, 12 FCC Rcd 15503 (1997).
8 Id. at 15512-13.
9 Id. at 15516-18.
10 Id. at 15513.
11 On November 13, 2001, Classic Communications, Inc. filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Court,
the District of Delaware, Petition for Waiver filed by Robert L.
James and Timothy P. Tobin, Counsel for Classic Communications,
Inc. (March 25, 2002).
12 17 FCC Rcd at 19352. Classic was also granted temporary 24-
month waivers of section 11.11(a) until October 1. 2004 for 65 of
its cable systems and 36-month waivers of section 11.11(a) until
October 1, 2005 for 483 of its cable systems.
13 Classic requests that the materials submitted in its petition
for waiver be withheld from public inspection pursuant to 47
C.F.R. § 0.459.
14Id. Classic currently operates under the d/b/as/ Cebridge
15 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.
16 We clarify that these waivers also encompass the EAS testing
and monitoring requirements.