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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
American Samoa Cable ) File No. EB-02-TS-211
Operator of Cable System in: )
Pago Pago, American Samoa )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: February 9, 2004 Released: February 11,
By the Director, Office of Homeland Security, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we grant American Samoa Cable (``ASC'')
a temporary waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Commission's
Rules (``Rules'') for the above-captioned cable television
system. Section 11.11(a) requires cable systems serving fewer
than 5,000 subscribers from a headend to either provide
national level 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,
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 January 9, 2002, ASC filed a request for a waiver of
Section 11.11(a) for the captioned cable television system
which serves approximately 3,000 subscribers. In support of
its request, ASC states that there are no sources transmitting
EAS signals to the small remote island of American Samoa. In
particular, ASC states that the only live or real-time video
signal source available to the cable system is received via
communications satellite and that the video signals transmit
taped programming. ASC provides financial statements for 2000
and 2001 and asserts that the cost to order and install EAS
equipment where there are no receivable EAS signals would
impact the system significantly. Additionally, ASC notes that
should the system receive EAS information through other
sources it would make such information available to its
subscribers. In this regard, ASC asserts that its subscribers
will have ready access to a dedicated cable origination
channel that provides early and real-time emergency alert
messages to subscribers, particularly those pertaining to
weather. ASC notes that few of its programmed channels
originate from the United States and that there is not a live
EAS signal source on American Samoa. Finally, ASC notes that
if local American Samoan authorities implement EAS plans, it
is prepared to comply with state and local EAS requirements.
4. We note that EAS staff at the FCC is working with the
Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify a primary
entry point for American Samoa and ensure the creation of a
functioning EAS system in American Samoa. Accordingly, based
upon our review of the financial data and other information
submitted by ASC and the present lack of real-time EAS video
signal sources in American Samoa, we conclude that a temporary
waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the captioned system is
warranted until such time as a live EAS signal source is
available in American Samoa.9
5. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,10 America Samoa Cable
IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules as set
forth herein for the captioned cable television system.
6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that American Samoa Cable place a
copy of this waiver in its system file.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to counsel
for American Samoa Cable, John D. Pellegrin, P.C., 9306 Old
Keene Mill Road, Burke, Virginia 22015.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Dailey
Director, Office of Homeland Security
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
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).
5 Id. at 15512-13.
6 Id. at 15516-15518.
7 Id. at 15513.
8 Id. at 15513, n. 59.
9 The waiver we are granting also encompasses the EAS testing
and monitoring requirements.
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.