Federal Communications Law Journal

Article Title

Article Digest


Document Type

Special Feature

Publication Date


Publication Citation

46 Federal Communications Law Journal 147 (1993)


In many communities across the nation cable subscribers depend on government-owned cable television systems for their communication services. This phenomenon may have started out to be fairly insignificant, but as a result of the cable explosion, government ownership of cable systems presents a threat to free expression. Governmental overbuilding and direct competition with private cable service providers have been the subject of unsuccessful First Amendment challenges. The threat of government control of cable systems, though, is potentially dramatic and poses serious First Amendment questions. The Author concludes that private ownership should be encouraged, and public ownership should only be allowed when no private operator is willing to supply cable service.