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news: Global Network Eyed By U.S.
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 12:18:26 -0500

 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Clinton administration is proposing a worldwide
network that one day would let people exchange all kinds of information
with the same ease as placing an international phone call.
  "In a world that thrives on information, our future success requires us
to develop global information networks that allow us to communicate easily
to any of our global neighbors," said Vice President Al Gore, in a
statement accompanying a report being issued Wednesday.
  The report urges that other countries open their telecommunications
markets to competition and replace rigid telecommunications laws and
regulations with flexible ones.
  It is being sent to the world's most industrialized countries, which are
meeting next week in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss for the first time
telecommunications policies and issues, including safeguarding privacy and
ensuring network security.
  While the report amplifies the United States' views on these matters, it
won't be something the Group of Seven nations will vote on at the
telecommunications meeting, said the Commerce Department, which is
coordinating the meeting.
  In addition to the United States, the meeting will be attended by Japan,
Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.
  The 49-page report builds upon a policy framework Gore laid out to
international telecommunications policy-makers last year as part of an
effort to sell other countries on the administration's recipe for creating
a global information superhighway.
  That recipe has five ingredients:
  --Global networks should be built using private investment.
  --There should be competition among network providers and users.
  --The networks should be accessible to all companies wanting to use them.
  --Flexible regulations should govern the networks.
  --Regulatory policies should ensure that people can get access to the
networks even if they can't afford them.
  Among Wednesday's report's recommendations are for the United States and
other countries to:
  --Work with major international lending institutions such as the World
Bank and regional development banks to determine the best means of
attracting private and public capital.
  --Implement specific regulations to foster a competitive environment,
including requiring telecommunications companies to let competitors hook
into their networks and provide nondiscriminatory access to their networks.

  --Set technical standards permitting individual countries' advanced
networks to connect just like today's phone networks.
  "Through the interconnection of disparate but interoperable networks,
these information highways will allow us to communicate as a global
community -- giving individuals, businesses and economies greater access to
each other and to a wider range of information," the report said.

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