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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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.