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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Kennedy Cablevision, Inc. ) File No. EB-02-TS-479
Operator of Cable Systems in: )
Cobbtown, Georgia )
Georgia State Prison, Georgia )
Reidsville, Georgia )
Request for Waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the )
Commission's Rules )
Adopted: November 12, 2002 Released: November 26,
By the Chief, Technical and Public Safety Division, Enforcement
1. In this Order, we grant Kennedy Cablevision, Inc
(``Kennedy Cablevision'') temporary waivers of Section
11.11(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'') for the three
above-captioned cable television systems. Specifically, we
grant a temporary, 24-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the
Reidsville, Georgia cable system and temporary, 36-month
waivers of Section 11.11(a) for the Cobbtown, and Georgia
State Prison, Georgia cable 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,
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. Kennedy Cablevision filed a request for a temporary,
24-month waiver and temporary, 36-month waivers of Section
11.11(a) for the three captioned cable systems on August 21,
2002. In support of its waiver request, Kennedy Cablevision
states that these are small, rural cable systems which serve
between 91 and 1,196 subscribers. Based on price quotes
provided by EAS equipment vendors, Kennedy Cablevision
estimates that it would cost more than $23,000 to install EAS
equipment at the three systems. Kennedy Cablevision asserts
that the cost of installing EAS equipment at these systems
will impose a substantial financial hardship on it and
provides financial statements for 1999 and 2000 in support of
this assertion. In addition, Kennedy Cablevision submits that
its subscribers will continue to have ready access to national
EAS information from other sources, including its cable
systems. In this regard, Kennedy Cablevision notes that its
subscribers currently have access to national EAS messages on
over 33 percent of all programmed channels. Kennedy
Cablevision also asserts that its subscribers will have access
to EAS information through over-the-air reception of broadcast
television and radio stations and other sources.
4. Based upon our review of the financial data and other
information submitted by Kennedy Cablevision, we conclude that
a temporary, 24-month waiver of Section 11.11(a) for the
Reidsville, Georgia system and temporary, 36-month waivers of
Section 11.11(a) for the Cobbtown and Georgia State Prison,
Georgia systems are warranted.9 In particular, we find that
the estimated cost of more than $23,000 of EAS equipment for
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 Kennedy Cablevision,
Inc. IS GRANTED a waiver of Section 11.11(a) of the Rules
until October 1, 2004 for the Reidsville, Georgia cable
television system and IS GRANTED waivers of Section 11.11(a)
of the Rules until October 1, 2005 for the Cobbtown and
Georgia State Prison, Georgia cable television systems.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Kennedy Cablevision, Inc.
place a copy of these waivers 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 Kennedy Cablevision, Inc., Christopher C. Cinnamon, Esq.,
Cinnamon Muller, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1020,
Chicago, Illinois 60601.
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 24-month waiver will extend from October 1, 2002, until
October 1, 2004 and the 36-month waiver 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
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.