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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Millennium Digital Media Systems, L.L.C.     )    File No. EB-02-
TS-232
                                )
Operator of Cable Systems in:   )
                                )
Union City, Michigan            )
Echo Lake, Washington           )
Forks, Washington               )
Lake Roesinger, Washington      )
                                )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the     )    
Commission's Rules              )    
                                        
                              ORDER 


Adopted:  January 13, 2004              Released:   January   15, 
2004

By the Director, Office of Homeland Security, Enforcement Bureau:

1.        In this  Order,  we  grant the  request  of  Millennium 
  Digital Media  Systems, L.L.C. (``Millennium'')  to extend  the 
  temporary,  12-month  waivers   of  Section  11.11(a)  of   the 
  Commission's Rules (``Rules'') previously granted for the  four 
  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 
  financial hardship.

3.        On  May  23,  2002,  Millennium  filed  a  request  for 
  temporary, 36  month waivers of Section  11.11(a) of the  Rules 
  for 32  small rural cable  systems operating in  the states  of 
  Idaho,  Michigan,  Oregon   and  Washington.   In  its   waiver 
  request,  Millennium  stated that  six  of  the  cable  systems 
  served between 1,071 and  1603 subscribers and 26 of the  cable 
  systems served between  37 and 976 subscribers.  In support  of 
  its waiver request,  Millennium estimated that it would cost  a 
  total of  $320,000 to  install EAS  equipment at  the 32  cable 
  systems.   Millennium asserted  that the  cost to  install  EAS 
  equipment  at  each  of  the  cable  systems  would  impose   a 
  substantial financial hardship on it.  On October 10, 2002,  we 
  granted  Millennium temporary,  36-month waivers  for 26  cable 
  television systems and  temporary, 12-month waivers of  Section 
  11.11(a)  for  six  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  six 
  cable systems which included the four captioned cable systems. 

4.        On September 30, 2003,  Millennium filed a request  for 
  temporary extensions  to the  12-month waivers  granted in  the 
  Waiver   Order   for  the   four   captioned   cable   systems.  
  Specifically,  Millennium requests  24-month waiver  extensions 
  for the Forks and Union City cable systems and 12-month  waiver 
  extensions  for  the Echo  Lake  and  Lake  Roesinger  systems.  
  Millennium states that  the extensions of the existing  waivers 
  are warranted due to its continuing financial hardship and  its 
  significant  loss  of customers  over  year  2002.   Millennium 
  asserts  that the  four  cable systems  lost  from nine  to  21 
  percent of their subscribers.  Millennium also submits  updated 
  financial data for these cable systems.

5.        Based on  the additional  financial data  submitted  by 
  Millennium, we conclude  that extensions of the temporary,  12-
  month  waivers of  Section 11.11(a)  of  the Rules  granted  to 
  Millennium  for   the  four  cable   systems  are   warranted.9  
  Nevertheless,  we remind  Millennium  that the  Commission  has 
  authorized cable systems  serving fewer than 5,000  subscribers 
  to install FCC  certified decoder-only units, rather than  both 
  encoders   and  decoders.10    Such  decoder-only   units   are 
  available at a substantially lower cost.11

6.        Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  that, pursuant to  Sections 
  0.111,  0.204(b),  0.311 of  the  Rules,12  Millennium  Digital 
  Media Systems, L.L.C.  IS GRANTED a waiver of Section  11.11(a) 
  of the Rules until  October 1, 2004 for the Echo Lake and  Lake 
  Roesinger, Washington cable  television systems and IS  GRANTED 
  a waiver  of Section  11.11(a) of  the Rules  until October  1, 
  2005 for the  Union City, Michigan and Forks, Washington  cable 
  television systems. 

7.        IT IS  FURTHER ORDERED  that Millennium  Digital  Media 
  Systems, L.L.C.  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 Millennium  Digital Media Systems,  L.L.C., Christopher  C. 
  Cinnamon, Esq.,  Cinnamon Mueller, 307  North Michigan  Avenue, 
  Suite 1020, Chicago, Illinois 60601. 

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         James A. Dailey
                         Director, Office of Homeland Security
                         Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 Millennium  Digital Media Systems, L.L.C.,  17 FCC Rcd  19434 
(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 19434.

  9 The  12-month temporary waivers will  extend from October  1, 
2003, until October  1, 2004 and  the 24-month temporary  waivers 
will extend  from October  1, 2003,  until October  1, 2005.   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, Report  and Order, EB Docket No.  01-
66, 17 FCC Rcd 4055 (2002).

  11 Three manufacturers have received equipment certifications 
from the Commission for decoder-only units.  See 
www.fcc.gov/eb/eas/certsel.html.  See also Public Notice, Notice 
Regarding FCC Certification of EAS Decoder, DA 02-2312 (September 
19, 2002).  EAS decoders have been advertised at a cost of 
approximately $2,000.

  12 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.204(b), 0.311.