Cable Television

Technical Considerations in Franchising Major Market Systems

by C. Pilnick

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Suggests procedures explicitly relating technical design of a cable system to franchise structure. The goal is a franchise that provides presently available services at low initial cost while allowing for future system growth and use. Problems abound: technological uncertainty and risk, vaguely defined technical standards, obsolescence of components and techniques, and future demands for new services, including pay TV and applications requiring two-way communication (fire and burglar alarm systems, audiovisual links among municipal offices, remote shopping, etc.). The report suggests a flexible design concept that will reduce technological risk when the capability for new services is added later, and the incorporation of "decision milestones" in the franchise that interrelate technological and economic feasibility with the introduction and control of new services.

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