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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Americable International, Arizona, Inc. and ) File No. EB-02-
Americable International, Colorado, Inc. )
Operator of Cable Systems in: )
Golden Shores, Arizona )
Golden Valley, Arizona )
Cordes Lakes, Arizona )
Peterson AFB, Colorado )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: October 9, 2002 Released: October 10,
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Order, we grant Americable International,
Arizona, Inc. and Americable International, Colorado, Inc.
(``Americable'') a temporary, 36-month waiver of Section
11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for their
respective above-captioned cable television systems. 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, 2002.1
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. Americable filed a request for a temporary, 36 month
waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the four captioned cable
systems on May 17, 2002. In support of its waiver request,
Americable states that these cable systems serve small
communities and have few subscribers. Specifically,
Americable indicates that the Golden Shores system serves 385
subscribers, the Golden Valley system serves 453 subscribers,
the Cordes Lakes system serves 160 subscribers and the
Peterson AFB system serves 751 subscribers. Based on price
quotes from EAS equipment manufacturers, Americable estimates
that it would cost approximately $9178.70 to install EAS
equipment for each of these systems. Americable asserts that
this cost will impose a substantial financial hardship on it
and provides financial statements for 2000 and 2001 in support
of this assertion. In addition, Americable indicates that
subscribers will continue to have ready access to national EAS
information from other sources, including its own cable
systems. In this regard, Americable notes that its
subscribers currently have access to national EAS messages on
nearly one-half of the programmed channels. Americable also
notes that the Peterson AFB system has a CADCO emergency alert
override system and a USAF Command Channel which is used by
the Peterson AFB Base Commander to alert the air base
community of emergency situations. Finally, Americable
indicates that subscribers will have access to EAS information
through over-the-air reception of broadcast television and
4. Based upon our review of the financial data and other
information submitted by Americable, we conclude that
temporary, 36-month waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the four
systems are warranted.9 In particular, we find that the
estimated $9178.70 cost of EAS equipment for each of these
small cable systems could impose a financial hardship on
5. We note that the Commission recently amended the EAS
rules to permit cable systems serving fewer than 5,000
subscribers to install FCC-certified decoder-only units,
rather than both encoders and decoders, if such a device
becomes available.10 Based on comments from equipment
manufacturers, we anticipate that such a decoder-only system
could result in significant cost savings to small cable
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections
0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311 of the Rules,12 Americable
International Arizona, Inc. and Americable International,
Colorado, Inc. ARE GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the
Rules until October 1, 2005 for their respective captioned
cable television systems.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Americable International,
Arizona, Inc. and Americable International, Colorado, Inc.
place a copy of this waiver 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 Americable International, Arizona, Inc. and Americable
International, Colorado, Inc., Law Office of James E. Meyers,
PC, 1633 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Casey
Chief, Technical and Public Safety
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)
(``Second Report and Order'').
5 Id. at 15512-13.
6 Id. at 15516-15518.
7 Id. at 15513.
8 Id. at 15513, n. 59.
9 The waivers will extend from October 1, 2002, 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, EB Docket 01-66, FCC 02-64 at ¶ 71
(released February 26, 2002).
11 One manufacturer estimated that an EAS decoder-only system
can reduce the cost by 64% over what a cable operator would spend
for an encoder/decoder unit. Id. at ¶ 70.
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204(b) and 0.311.