Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

John J. Kupa


Historically public participation did not develop from some belief in democracy or duty but rather from adequately to complaints of poor services. A direct response to this was the neighborhood movement.

Planning to one degree or another has been reactive, this study attempts to present to planners a new tool for reaching their community in a proactive educational manner. The initial phase of this study began with an examination of the legislative mandates governing cable companies. Specifically the sections concerning public access airtime, technical assistance, and equipment availability. The second phase of this study involved the analysis of the perceptions of the cable company directors and planning professionals in relation to public access. A personally administered questionnaire was used to determine such variables as: population parameters, levels of service, philosophy, misconceptions, levels of usage, and opinions. The results of this analysis suggest that the cable companies are committed to public access beyond the basic requirements of law. While each company varies in its method of assisting a group or individual, all take extreme care in assuring the best possible results. Planners for the most part are just discovering cable and while present utilization is low all, indications point to the recognition by planners of the potential benefits of public access for serving their needs in reaching their community.



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