Leading carriers support Clinton-Gore technology initiative

MARCH 23, 1993

The Chief Executive Officers of the nation's leading local and long-distance telecommunications companies today announced that they have signed a landmark public policy position statement [attached]--signaling strong industry-wide support for the communications technology initiatives envisioned by the Clinton-Gore administration.

The statement was signed by the CEOs of Ameritech, AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Bellcore, BellSouth, Cincinnati Bell, Inc., GTE, MCI, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southern New England Telephone Company, Southwestern Bell Corp., Sprint and U S WEST.

The policy statement provides a set of principles consistent with the administration's initiative, "Technology for America's Economic Growth, A New Direction to Build Economic Strength," and articulates the roles government and industry should play.

The CEOs suggest the Administration and Congress adopt these principles as a framework for cooperation among federal, state and local governments, key users communities--such as schools, libraries and health care providers--and the private sector (including telecommunications, computer, information and related industries.)

In addition, the set of principles recommends that government support research on applications and services that benefit schools, health care and industries crucial for U.S. competitive- ness, as well as research that will make it easier for people to connect to, and use, information networks.

Benefits to come from following these principles would include:

Increased private sector investment in, and continued development of, a national information infrastructure will result from government serving as a catalyst.

Partnerships among government, academia, industry and key user communities will focus on development of experimental technologies that leverage limited government funds.

Transferring experimental technologies to commercial (production) networks will provide new capabilities to users, meet their expanding needs, and increase industry's investment in the infrastructure.

Alternative visions of the national information infrastructure can be integrated into a common vision which provides interactive multimedia and other advanced networking capabilities to all Americans.

Industry's incentive to invest in the infrastructure will remain strong because the government will not subsidize commercial networks and because commercial services will not be provided on government-supported experimental networks.

Selected user communities will be provided support for access to, and use of, networks and information through government funding.

Supporting these communities represents a shift of emphasis from government's direct support of networks. These funds, predominantly grants, would be carefully targeted by the government to meet urgent societal needs by communities which otherwise could not afford to take advantage of the benefits that the infrastructure can provide--for example, innovative math and science programs for children in public schools with limited budgets and resources. o Alternative network suppliers will be able to interconnect seamlessly with each other, resulting in a wide array of competitive choices that will spur innovation and result in competitive prices to users.

According to George Heilmeir, President and CEO of Bellcore, "The telecommunications industry looks forward to the challenge of evolving information networks to meet urgent societal needs, spur economic growth, and strengthen America's competitive position in the global economy."

Contact the following for more information about the Policy Position on the National Information Infrastructure: Ameritech MCI Peter Lincoln Bernie Goodrich 202-955-3058 202-887-2158 AT&T NYNEX Herb Linnen Bob Jasinski 202-457-3933 202-416-0125 Bell Atlantic Pacific Telesis Ken Pitt Janice Rylander 703-974-5547 202-383-6431 Bellcore Southwestern Bell Mike Giovia Joyce Taylor 201-740-4762 202-293-8553 or Barbara McClurken 201-740-6467 BellSouth Sprint Bill McCloskey Janice Langley 202-463-4129 202-828-7427 Cincinnati Bell SNET Kyle Hill Bill Seekamp 513-397-1240 203-771-2136


Julia Spicer Mary Hisley 202-463-5206 202-429-3105


1. The High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) vision should be expanded to foster the emergence of services and applications that will serve the urgent societal needs of a broad range of users and industries, such as K-16 education, health care delivery and cost containment, manufacturing productivity and job creation, and the general public through telecommuting and access to libraries and other databases. This imperative is shared with the recommendations of the Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP).

2. This expanded vision can be most effectively served by a target structure comprised of separate Experiments and Production Networks. Experimental Networks should consist of government supported testbeds (for example, the Gigabit testbeds) and high performance national testbeds (for ex- ample, interconnecting major supercomputer research sites) for leading edge networking technology and applications requiring such technology. Experimental Networks supported by the government should be used only:

a. To carry traffic directly related to the experimental goals of these networks, and

b. By those researchers who need to perform applications that require the advanced technological capabilities of these networks, and which cannot be performed on Production Networks.

These Experimental Networks will be developed by partnerships among government, academia, private industry and target user communities. These partnerships, which can build upon the long and successful collaboration between industry, academia and government, can leverage the government's limited resources to maximize social return.

Production Networks should consist of present and future commercially available communications networks. Production Networks would:

a. Be built, managed and operated by multiple providers from the private sector;

b. Provide a vehicle for technology transfer from their experimental counterparts;

c. Offer commercial networking capabilities to the business and residential population; and

d. Serve all users, including the Research and Education Community, for those applications that can be supported by commercially available network services.

The government, private sector and key user communities should jointly implement transition steps to achieve this target structure.

3. The government should encourage maximum interconnectivity and interoperability among Production Networks as an important goal of public policy.

4. The following four activities should be supported by the government and given the highest priority for achieving broad societal benefits:

a. Research into applications and services that will provide for the urgent needs of the broads range of users in K-16 education, health care and industries critical for U.S. competitiveness.

b. Research into user-friendly access and use of the networks to promote broad utilization by all members of society.

c. Direct subsidies to the Research and Education Communities to support their access to and use of Production Networks.

d. Technical development of the Experimental Networks, including continued support of the Research and Education community's contributions in developing these networks.

5. Full consideration should be given to the present and future developments of the computer, telecommunications, information and related industries when planning, designing, and implementing the technology and standards for the Experimental Networks. Giving full consideration to the developments in all these industries will help ensure the maximum transfer of the best and most effective technology from the Experimental to the Production Networks.

6. Decision-making processes relative to government programs associated funding should be open to the target user community, including K-16 educational institutions, libraries, and health care industry, and industries critical to U.S. competitiveness. The decision-making process should also include representation from the computer, telecommunications, information and related industries.

7. The government and industry should strive for a framework that promotes fair and open competition, encourages innovation, and allows for effective participation among all participants and industries. This would allow all participants in the Production Networks to contribute effectively towards the evolution of the national information infrastructure to satisfy future needs.


Following this news release is the full policy statement endorsed by Ameritech, AT&T, Bell Atlantic, Bellcore, BellSouth, Cincinnati Bell, GTE, MCI, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, Sprint, Southern New England Telephone and U S West. Media contacts for all participants are also listed below.
Herb Linnen - AT&T
202-457-3933 (office)