Two-Way Cable Communications and the Spartanburg Experiments.

by William A. Lucas

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Describes RAND's National Science Foundation-funded experiments with two-way cable television for social services in Spartanburg, S.C., during the next 2-1/2 years. The research will determine the costs and benefits of two-way cable for three types of communications functions. Video with data return will be tested for high school equivalency education; return video for training workshops for day care givers; and point-to-point return video for interagency communications in determining eligibility for the Work Incentive Program. RAND personnel spent six months meeting with public and private social agencies as the agencies defined their needs for communication help. Spartanburg was chosen for the experimental site because it already has a full high-performance two-way cable system of high technical quality. Of 14,000 dwellings with access to cable, 7,000 now subscribe. Fifteen forward and three return channels are available for new applications. (Prepared for the September 1975 Supplement of [Access Workshop], Alternate Media Center, New York University.) 10 pp.

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