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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Classic Communications, Inc. )
) File No.: EB-04-HS-071
Operator of Cable Television )
Systems in )
Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, )
Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and )
Request for Waiver of Section
11.11(a) of the Commission's
Adopted: October 7, 2004 Released: October 7,
By the Director, Office of Homeland Security, Enforcement Bureau
1. In this Order, we grant Classic
Communications, Inc. an extension to its temporary waiver of
section 11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (Rules)1 previously
granted for the 65 cable television systems listed in Attachment
A.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 a
temporary 24-month waiver for the systems listed in Attachment A
from October 1, 2002 to October 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 the 24-month waiver of section 11.11(a) for
the cable television systems listed in Attachment A.
4. On September 30, 2004, Classic filed a
request for a 120-day extension of the temporary waiver
previously granted for the cable systems listed in Attachment A.
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 cable systems listed in Attachment A.13
Classic states that it has ordered some of the EAS equipment for
the subject cable systems. Based on its discussions with various
EAS manufacturers, Classic estimates that the subject cable
systems can be fully compliant with EAS requirements within 120
5. Based on our review of the
information submitted by Classic, we find that an extension of
its temporary waiver of section 11.11(a) of the Rules for the
cable systems listed in Attachment A, is warranted. On August
31, 2004, Classic was granted a 90-day extension of its temporary
waiver previously granted for 10 of its other cable systems in
Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.14 By e-mail dated October 4,
2004, Classic notified the Commission that it had installed EAS
equipment at all 10 of the systems. We expect that Classic would
likewise comply with the new deadline as setforth in this Order.
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 an extension of its
temporary waiver of section 11.11(a) of the Rules until February
1, 2005, for the cable systems listed in Attachment A.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 cable systems listed in Attachment A by E-
mail at email@example.com.
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
List of Systems
- Unhandled Picture -
Miller County, Arkansas
Clay Center, Kansas
Fort Scott, Kansas
Fort Polk, Louisiana
Le Compete, Louisiana
Cole County, Missouri
Joe Bald/Hwy DD, Missouri
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Pilot Point, Texas
List of Systems
Mt. Belvieu, Texas
Lake Cherokee, Texas
Crystal Beach, Texas
Van Zandt, Texas
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 a temporary 18-
month waiver of section 11.11(a) until April 1, 2004 for 11 of
its cable systems and a temporary 36-month waiver of section
11.11(a) until October 1, 2005 for 483 of its cable systems.
13Id. Classic currently operates under the d/b/as/ Cebridge
14 See Order by the Director, Office of Homeland Security,
Enforcement Bureau, rel. Aug. 31, 2004.
15 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.
16 We clarify that this waiver also encompass the EAS testing and