In order to bring Nil (National Information Infrastructure) into the home, the community cable TV networks have to be reengineered to support two-way interactive services. In this work, the authors propose PCUP (Pipelined Cyclic Upstream Protocol) as the upstream MAC (medium access control) protocol for HFC (hybrid fiber coax) community access network. PCUP is designed with the intention of pipelining the upstream channel. This is achieved by proper station positioning, which measures the station propagation offset from the headend, and transmission scheduling, which assigns each station a transmission starting time and duration in a cycle. By taking into account the propagation offsets and transmission times, transmitted cells can appear back-to-back (i.e., pipelined) at the headend. Since only the active stations are scheduled to transmit in a cycle, a membership control mechanism, which runs a contention-based tree walk algorithm, is executed periodically to allow the stations to join or leave. The authors also compare PCUP with various schemes proposed to IEEE 802.14 committee.