13. Appendix C: Selected Research


In this Appendix the following articles are quoted extensively.

Iowa’s network links 99 counties, state universities, and community colleges, and some schools and libraries, with more than 2,000 miles of fiber optic cable. Those connections were completed at a cost of $114.5 million raised from state issued certificates of participation through its General Services Administration. The next phase of the project, linking elementary schools, libraries, private businesses and hospitals, was estimated to cost between $90 and $140 million. The state is reluctant to issue debt to pay for the network. A deficit required the state to appropriate monies to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission. There was uncertainty over how the network could pay for itself, considering that operating costs were $150/hour, yet chargebacks to schools and agencies ranged from $8/hour to $40/hour. (Carmody, Chris, "Opposing financing plans stall growth of Iowa’s pioneering fiber-optic system," The Bond Buyer, Vol. 311(29590), February 1, 1993, p. 2).

The National Governor’s Association Committee on Economic Development of Commerce completed a study of the relationship of a restructured telecommunications industry and the National Information Infrastructure (NII). Some of their policy areas where governors could be effective in accelerating the NII include:

The Role of Government

The relationship between the National Information Infrastructure and the national economy has yet to be adequately addressed by government. Thus, for example, there is a growing gap between advances in networking technologies and the regulatory framework that governs how these technologies are brought together to comprise a national infrastructure. Although information and communication technologies are increasingly being mixed and matched, and used interchangeably to create a variety of networks serving different purposes, national regulators continue to compartmentalize them, setting ground rules as if these technologies were quire distinct and unrelated. Moreover, regulators and lawmakers are, at times, so focused on establishing the appropriate rules for how the wide range of vendors and service providers should relate to one another that they often fail to consider the larger consequences that the ensuing network architectures may have for the economy as a whole. Even less attention is paid to the evolution of private networks and components that, while falling out of the bailiwick of regulators’ traditional mission, still constitute part of the infrastructure that support and sustains economic activities.

This regulatory approach has major implications not only for infrastructure development, but also for business and the national economy. In economic activities, the value of information and communication technologies greatly increases when technologies are effectively networked together, making it imperative that these technologies be considered in conjunction with one another. (Garcia, D. Linda, "Networking and the rise of electronic commerce: the challenge for public policy," Business Economics, Vol.30(4), October 1995, p.7.)

In Los Angeles, another telecommunications planning specialist, Walter Siembab of Siembab Planning Associates, is trying to persuade his public-sector clients that they don’t have to rebuild cities to address transportation issues. To prove it, he has designed a "televillage", which uses telecommunications to create a "virtual" town center. It provides access to government offices, health care, and educational services plus telework opportunities - without new construction. One such televillage is now in the works in South Central Los Angeles next to a rapid transit line.

Siembab also points out that cities don’t need high-tech infrastructure, like fiber optic cables, to benefit from telecommunications. Current telephone, electronic mail, and voice mail systems are adequate to support the communication needs of most teleworkers, he feels. (Yovovich, B.G., and Sylvia Lewis, "When the rubber doesn’t hit the road: what telecommuting means to US Communities," Planning, Vol.60(12), December 1994, p. 12.)

Cox Communications Inc. announced innovative partnerships with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office and the Department of Employment and Training to use Cox’s telecommunications infrastructure to deliver information about state government and job opportunities to Rhode Island residents. ("Cox to explore technology applications with Rhode Island Secretary of State, Department of Employment and Training," Business Wire, Pg. 11160056, November 16, 1995.)

The Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a fiber optic network in Portland, Oregon. It is expected to save over $1 million over four years. All funds for MAN came from the savings achieved through an upgrade of the state’s telecommunications system in 1989. Optec Inc., a fiber-optics company, owns the seven miles of fiber-optic cable that comprise the network. It leases the network to the state. (Rose, Michael, "State to save millions with new fiber-optic network," The Business Journal-Portland, Vol.10(19), July 5, 1993, p. 17.)

Selected excerpts from , "Vermont Telecommunications Plan Final Draft," Department of Public Service, August 1996, Chapter 4-Recommendations.

"New services must be reviewed before they are marketed to the public so that privacy is protected. Telecommunications service providers should NOT sell, advertise or make available any regulated product or service that could impair privacy until the product has been reviewed, and the Board has held a hearing and issued an order assuring that privacy standards are upheld. All telecommunication providers should, when submitting tariff filings for new services with privacy implications, evaluate the extent of potential privacy intrusions and propose measures to mitigate any such privacy impacts. Restrictions on dissemination of information should be recognized and written into the tariff as needed. (Ch.4 VI I 83.)"

"ISDN should be offered at a flat rate to promote Internet usage, or offered at a reasonable measured rate with a low cap, so as not to deter usage. (Ch.4 VII 94.)"

"Vermont will require the availability of affordable broadband throughput capabilities in the local loop for users who request it to accommodate present and future multimedia transmission applications. Service providers should accelerate the necessary provisioning and begin demonstration projects (or affordably priced introductory offers) of a variety of loop technologies to serve libraries, schools, health care providers, and community computing centers. Broadband telephone loop technologies that increase the transmission capabilities of the existing copper pair infrastructure and can be deployed on a ‘per line demand’ basis should be favored over other wireline loop technologies requiring ubiquitous deployment investment likely to raise the price of basic service. reasonable pricing policies that encourage usage are critical. (Ch.4 VII 97.)"

"The state and service providers should expedite the use of cable plant for data transmissions by using a copper-coax hybrid solution -- cable modems for one way downstream transmission and the telephone for upstream data requests. The use of cable modems should be tested through affordably priced demonstration projects serving schools, libraries, health care providers, and community computing centers. (Ch.4 VII 99.)"

"The state should actively promote an active and competitive telecommunications market to indirectly lower the costs of network services, including the costs of modern health care. (Ch.4 VIII E 109.)"

"The state should insure tat ISDN in Vermont’s schools should also be available for connecting school nurses with FAHC’s Vtmednet PLUS. Any schools that are using ISDN to enable school nurses to access Vtmednet PLUS should also use it for academic purposes. If necessary, equipment can be shared by teachers and school nurses. (Ch.4 VIII E 112.)"

"Vtmednet PLUS needs to reach a critical mass and FAHC should be encouraged to interconnect with other telemedicine systems to ensure that services are transparent to consumers throughout the state. (Ch.4 VIII E 113.)"

"The state should encourage private investment in upgrading existing plant rather than itself investing in network upgrades. (Ch.4 IX A 115.)"

"Private investment needs to supply competitive options toward elimination of the local loop bottleneck. Digital Subscriber Line ‘hot copper’ technologies, ..., are available, potentially cost effective competition of life extensions for the local loop, with sufficient throughput to accommodate those applications which demand it, such as Internet, telecommuting, and videoconferencing. (Ch.4 IX A 116.)"

"The state should promote EDI deployment in and outside government. (Ch.4 IX B 118.)"

"The state should upgrade regional offices’ telecommunications capabilities to provide more state government services out of district offices and public access to Montpelier from the district offices. (Ch.4 IX C 121.)"

"The state should continue to use and improve its own internal GOVnet private network for government uses. Any expansion of GOVnet to facilitate dual use or dial up access, for example to schools or for access to the Vermont Business Assistance Network, must maintain a priority concern for network security issues. (Ch.4 X 124.)"

"State and local government should deliver information and services electronically over the Internet. (Ch.4 X 127.)"

"State government should seek appropriate partnership arrangements with business to leverage public and private sector investment toward common goals in building a dynamic electronic community in Vermont, achieving mutual benefits and cost savings. Partnerships could be developed with government serving as an anchor tenant for a facility, such as a satellite uplink that would be available for business, or with service providers cooperatively working to bring new services to schools. (Ch.4 X 129.)"

"The three branches of state government, legislative, judicial, and administrative should identify areas in which decentralized access to information and services through electronic networks would increase efficiency and benefit the community. The state should prioritize the development and implementation of these applications using the appropriate media, including but not necessarily limited to, the Web and telephone for those applications where voice response systems are workable. (Ch.4 X 130.)"

"The state should seek to act as an anchor tenant where this action will benefit the state and also enable business to share the benefits of a technology or application that would have otherwise proven difficult for small business entities to implement. (Ch.4 X 132.)"

"Vermont should work with telecommunications venders {sic} and service providers to ensure that modern telecommunications technologies are available in schools, including building government-business partnerships, removing barriers to investment, and promoting competition to accelerate the deployment of advanced services to Vermont K-12 schools {bold type is added for emphasis} (Ch.4 XI 133.)"

"All technologies should be explored for their cost-effectiveness in supplying video connectivity, distance learning capabilities, Internet access, and access to other data and on-line services. In particular, DBS transmission should be considered for providing high speed Internet access and distance learning television programming into classrooms. (Ch.4 XI 134.)"

"There are legitimate concerns that allowing dial-up access to the Internet through GOVnet poses serious security risks for Vermont’s government network. Strategic separation of the SchoolNet channel from the GOVnet channel should maintain the two-tiered system and resolve security concerns. (Ch.4 XI 136.)"

"Wherever possible, school computing facilities should be made alive for community public access after 3 pm. (Ch.4 XI 137.)"

"State government Web sites should provide accessible communications for all users. The DPS plans to use its Web site as a model and a source of education and information. (Ch.4 XII B 160.)"

"North Carolina began building this month {August 1994} a $160 million state-wide fiber-optic highway based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Synchronous Optical Network (Sonet) technology with Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc. At 116,000 fiber miles it is reportedly the most extensive ATM/Sonet network in the world. ... The application panned for the North Carolina Information Highway include ‘distance learning’, telemedicine and economic development ..." (Mitch Betts, "States bypassing Feds on information highway," Computerworld, June 20, 1994, p. 8.)

("KickStart Initiative: Connecting America’s Communities to the Information Superhighway," United States Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure, (approximately November 1994).) "As of November 1995, all 4-year public and private colleges and universities, rural community colleges, and community centers in every part of the State had access to each other’s information and education services and to the Internet." There are two networks. ARKnet is operated by the University of Arkansas on behalf of more than 45 member institutions that support telecommunications and information infrastructure. The Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) is a private, nonprofit organization operating under the State Department of Education. ... "Funding streams combine community, State and Federal sources." ... ARKnet and APSCN coordinate network design for sharing line costs where the two networks coexist.

Hawaii has instituted a network which links 243 K-12 schools, the University of Hawaii, and approximately 50 district and state offices.

"North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH) will link more than 3,400 sites -- public schools, hospitals, libraries, community colleges, universities, law enforcement centers, courthouses, prisons, and local and State government locations -- in al 10 counties of the State. ... Southern Bell, Carolina Telephone, GTE South, and the 24 other local telephone companies who are building the network will own and operate it as they have with the State’s public switched network. The State serves as the network’s anchor tenant. The State is obtaining funds for the project from a variety of sources, including: local budgets and bonds, reallocating existing money at local and State levels; Federal and foundation grants; and new appropriations from its General Assembly, which in 1994 appropriated $7 million for a grant program."

("A Guide to Award-Winning Technology," Governing, January 1996.) "In Virginia, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Network, which won a NASIRE award for networking, is a single telecommunications infrastructure for all of the state’s data, voice and video transport requirements. Serving 300 agencies, colleges and municipal governments, CTN contracts for long distance, local and Internet services with MCI, Bell Atlantic and Sprint. ... Maryland’s Fiber Optic Resource Sharing Project, another NASIRE networking award-winner, represents a joint agreement to develop a high-speed telecommunication network for the Maryland Department of General Services by MCI and Teleport Communications Group, Inc., a local phone company. In exchange for laying 75 miles of fiber optic cable network, constructing five transmission stations and servicing the state-owned network for 40 years, MCI and TCG will receive highway ‘rights of way’ to use the transmission lines for their private telephone business. The state gets telecommunications capacity valued at $32 million at virtually no cost to taxpayers."

(Fulton, William and Morris Newman, "Who Will Wire America?," Governing, October 1993, p. 26) "Not surprisingly, then, America’s telecommunications superhighway probably won’t be built entirely by the government, or by the cable television industry, or by the Baby Bells. In some cases -- as in densely populated, prosperous business centers -- the regulatory tradeoff may be well worth the price: The market will be strong enough to keep the competitive forces in motion. In other cases, it may well be that the Baby Bells will be the only entities strong enough to make the capital investment required in a particular geographical area. And in rural areas and inner cities, the government may have to make direct investments and abolish the system of internal subsidies that has tied the Baby Bells and the public interest together for generations."