Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Elites largely govern our nation's current decision-making process.The average citizen's failure to participate in that process perhaps derives largely from his inability to inform himself adequately on all the issues. However, the ability of cable television (CATV) to place each person in complete command of his informational and entertainment environment has thrust society upon the threshold of an electronic communications revolution. Indeed, if CATV is allowed to develop its full potential, the individual will not have to receive information and entertainment passively. Rather, CATV's virtue of two-way communication will permit him to transmit as well as receive information. His access to the total storehouse of information will, therefore, increase, and as a result CATV will restore the average citizen to his rightful role in deciding vital issues. On February 2, 1972, the FCC adopted a new set of rules governing CATV. The rules do not provide the green light for which existing and potential CATV operators had hoped. They do, however, permit CATV to proceed on the delayed yellow. This article will focus upon the technology, economics and uses of CATV. It will outline public policy goals for CATV service and discuss FCC jurisdiction over CATV. Finally, it will evaluate and recommend changes in the new CATV rules.