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Archive for Monday, August 8, 2011

40 years ago: FCC rules affect newly-launched cable TV service

August 8, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 8, 1971:

The Federal Communications Commission was proposing new rules for cable television, also referred to at that time as CATV (community antenna television), which an article called "an infant industry promising a new revolution in America's living rooms." Under the proposed rules, cable systems would be required to fill unused channels with a wider and more varied selection of programs than was currently available in most places. Subscribers would also be offered free closed-circuit channels for use by government, educators and individual citizens, as well as "two-way potential that could connect home screens with computers or future shop-from-home department stores." Fees for cable television were generally running at $5 to $7 per month. The nation had about 60 million sets at the time, but only 5.9 million were connected to cable systems, mostly in rural areas. Under the new plan, all cable systems would have to carry the signals of all stations within 35 miles. Max Falkenstien, general manager of Sunflower Cablevision, said that the new regulations would "permit a system to offer its viewers the opportunity of watching programs of television stations from distant cities, such as Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles and others." Sunflower Cablevision was scheduled to begin service to local subscribers in the fall.

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