Cover: Cable Television

Cable Television

The Process of Franchising

Published 1973

by Leland Johnson, Michael Botein


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Deals with the crucial issues a community and its franchising authority face at the outset of franchising a cable system. The community must decide on system ownership, system configuration, minimum channel capacities, construction timetables, subscriber rates, and cooperative agreements with neighboring jurisdictions. Since the system will operate as a monopoly once the FCC approves the franchise, the community must ensure that it is amply protected and that the franchise is flexible, so that opportunities not now foreseen can be exploited in the future. But it should avoid burdening the cable operator with ambitious requirements that raise subscriber costs for the sake of uncertain benefits. The report presents guidelines and evaluates various approaches. It gives detailed consideration to ten steps in the process, from adopting procedures for drafting and awarding the franchise, through public hearings on major issues, to the award and continuing administration of the franchise.

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