When commercial radio began broadcasting, some citizens saw it as a new "golden age," offering vast opportunities for educational and public service programing. These dreams did not come true because it was more profitable to sell advertising. The same pattern occurred with broadcast television. Cable television provides a third chance, and this book is written to help citizen groups make the most of it. It describes some potential public uses for cable and points to existing cable channels which are serving their communities. It suggests things to look for in a franchise, how to improve an existing service, and how regulatory agencies work. It makes clear ways in which citizens groups with little technological experience can make use of cable.
Appendices include: proposed Federal Communications Commission rules for cable television systems; a bibliography; a list of organizations that can help citizen groups; production costs for public access programing; cable franchises and regulations; and a plan for a big city cable system.