How to Bring Public Access Television to Your Town

by William A. Huston

Step 1: Learn about Public Access

Public Access TV is cable television channel capacity, and facilities and equipment to use the channel capacity, set aside for the use by the general public on a first-come, first-served, non-discriminitory basis.

Community Antenna Television (CATV) -> Cable TV.

Cable Television Report and Order, 36 FCC 2d 143 (1972) ("First Report and Order"): " Recently, governmental programs have been directed toward increasing citizen involvement in community affairs. Cable television has the potential to be a vehicle for much needed community expression ... We believe there is increasing need for channels for community expression, and the steps we are taking are designed to serve that need. The public access channel will offer a practical opportunity to participate in community dialogue through a mass medium."

1976 FCC rule mandating public access studios and channel capacity in all systems serving 3,500 subscribers (overturned by Midwest Video v. FCC (1979).

More info: Read "The History of Public Access Television", by Bill Olson.