Super Highway Summit at UCLA

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could provide universal access to everybody with their cable telemarket yeah I think I have some anomic benefits
do although some social benefits my vote it will be routed out reverse slackness mr. Kay doesn't make a difference if
have universal access or that it was
just a plan the site there right no I think as we have blasted years ago we've
had years well a cos2 pub library something that all of the citizens a
country should amortize the over the joint valve I think the most haunting
image to me is a library I visited 20
years ago in the middle of a slum it was free but nobody was going into it and so
I think that information is one thing and will the hope the directions the
reasons for actually using it as elements of powers are what have to be
worked on first oh I think while we're at it we should definitely make sure that everybody is enfranchised in the
new sources of information mr. Kavon er yeah in the last panel a Steve Case I
think made a very important observation that a lot of what we're talking about
is allowing people to communicate with other people in new new ways and that
when you think about universal access and what we have today in terms of
today's communication system I think we need to make sure that we bring forward
into this new world where the the communications with our eyes as well as
our ears the ability of all people to
communicate because what we're talking about is creating new sense of community
I think the question for us on the panel is how is it's a tricky thing you know I
know how it was done for the communications network we had a regulated monopoly and the
government regulated the bail system to see that everyone in America no matter
where they lived on a farm or in any inner city or in the suburb had access
to a lifeline type of services and that worked and achieved a certain goal we
will not have that in this new world and so the
for us is to to hold the value of universal access for for all the
appropriate reasons and then the noodle through during this pioneering period
the mechanisms to allow people to form
new senses of of community I think to Bell Atlantic TCI
announcement is a it's a good statement of intent to to begin that and just add
something that's going to be from what I understand in the public schools not
private schools the original proposals for public and private but this is
empowering public schools so again obviously some decisions have already
been made miss Caplan how do you feel about this issue when you talk about
universal access who pays for it should the government regulate it or should
free-market take over free market will not result in universal service we know
that from telecommunications in the past and we can expect that in the future one
group that has consistently been left out of past definitions of universal
service or people with disabilities a group that we have become more and more
cognizant of through measures like the Americans with Disabilities Act and also
because our society is aging and more and more people who are going to learn
to depend on this technology will find that they may not be able to use it mr.
Diller gave a great little anecdote in the beginning of the last panel about
the interface with remote controls and how difficult they currently are to use
that is something that many people commonly experience some more extremely
than others we are currently paying government is paying and ratepayers all
over the country for an add-on system so that deaf people can use the telephone
through state mandated relay programs that are using operators to provide a
service that other people can do without operators now in California alone the
cost is twenty four million dollars a year for this service and you multiply
that by 50 states and it begins very
expensive we've learned through architectural design that it's very
expensive to retrofit accessibility or usability in for people with disabilities and what
we're learning is that when we build accessibility in to the blueprints and
we're at the blueprint stage of the information highway now that we don't
just save money we enlarge the market who we're selling products and services
to we make sure people get left in and we also have the key to ultimate user
friendliness if people with disabilities can use it than everyone can use it
this is something that government should mandate and something that all should
pay for it cuz all will benefit from that all should pay for and government
should mandate do you agree with that mr. caper well I think that just as we
had universal access for telephones for
the last 60 years it's pretty uncontained
a guaranteed right to get a service brought into the home is going to happen
there's a question of who pays for it but I want to raise another question and
on access which is access to what if it's access to the cubic zirconium
Network it's not all of that interesting how many people here have email
addresses could I see some hands quite a few why that is if we came back in five
years 80 to 90 percent of you would have email addresses if things go well the
big question about access is are we going to have access to a future that
consists only of 500 channels of what somebody else says that you should be
watching or will it be access to a great diversity of services in which we're not
so much treated just as consumers buying things but also as citizens and in which
we have citizens at the local level and creative artists and entrepreneurs all
have a chance to put content onto that network that's a network worth having
access to and that's the kind of network we should be building sounds great how
do you do that doesn't it seem absolutely inevitable that that'll
happen given what's happened already and what the technology Fosters if I thought
it were an I wouldn't be up here I mean we live in a world in which people can literally
talk about packaging and storing
experiences so that it B can be consumed on video servers I find that pretty
frightening I don't think experience is the sort of commodity that could be
packaged like that and to the extent that there's a mentality that winds up
reducing everything to a least common denominator and to economics and to
money and believes in pushing for mass audiences because that's the only kind
of audience that's understood that's very problematic I'm neither an optimist
or a pessimist I think we have control of the future to shape it in our hands
but we just can't sit back but the but the possibilities are so in that
direction I mean what the technology will allow us to do is to introduce
people the subjects through video or conversation or images or you know
conversation with a professor and facilitate that the possible just said
one more thing about this and give other people a chance the possibilities are infinite and exciting and if you go out
on the internet and you do net surfing or if you can find some very bright 19
year old who understands it already and can deal with all the all the weird
interfaces of it to show you you get viscerally really excited about it but
you know every time there's been a new medium whether it was radio or television or cable there have been the
same high hopes lofty aspirations this is going to be terrific for culture it's
going to terrific for education and it hasn't materialized and until we
understand how to make it different this time it's just living in a fool's
paradise to believe that utopia is around the coin I really agree with that [Applause]
when the term couch potato is now thought of being so neutral that it was
actually used as the title of the previous session to me that is
disgusting and what we're looking forward to is not couch potatoes but
mouse potatoes we don't want more mouse potatoes in the world we have to have
some way of changing the value system of the culture not just changing the axis
all I agree with Mitch that we don't want 500 channels or a thousand channels
we want one channel one channel that connects to everything and then some
values that will get us to look at more than just shiny interesting things on a
shopping channel or whatever I think that right now we're if you look at
America over the last 20 or 30 years there's an interesting phenomenon is
going on in the under the guise of convenience this and convenience that
convenience foods what people are getting are things of lower quality and
after a generation has passed they don't know it's lower quality anymore because
that is what they know so when we shape an entire environment here we're also
shaping a set of values for people and people will pick up the values from the
environment just as they have from television so a lot more care than
private enterprise usually puts in has got to go into thinking about what this
thing is this is the biggest thing that has happened since the printing press and we have to do it with thought
television should be the last medium to
ever be allowed to be invented naively without a surgeon general's warning on
it that we have to make sure that the
computer medium is one and where people understand when it is really appropriate
to use it when it's powerful people so that people can tell the difference
between education and entertainment not just slam them together in such a way
that education is lost the new suggests experiments if you will information town
hall meetings so everybody will understand what this highway is about
and what it's supposed to do is that how you gather information from people and learn what they want to see or what they
they should be seeing to use it in a more viable way well here's here's a here's an arena in which I think you
really ultimately do have to put your trust in the marketplace if you are willing to build network that
is genuinely open not just to consumers
of information but to providers such that anybody who has something to say or
to make something no matter how foolish we might think it is has a chance to do
that and get on whether it's educational or health or entertainment or whatever
then we'll very quickly learn and be surprised by the results we have the
experience of the computer industry where I come from nobody predicted the
invention of the applications like the spreadsheet that I was involved with or
desktop publishing that made that industry sperry and burrows and CDC and
other companies that are no longer in business did not sit around in symposia
like this telling everybody what it was going to be like and if they had they
would have been wrong the way that you create the future is you lower the
barriers to entry for the consumers and the providers and you try to make as many things happen as possible and that
yes that does include government subsidizing education because it doesn't
pay for itself but they ought to be going out and buying net connections on
this new broadband highway just like everybody else and if the government
gives them a grant great we'll learn a lot over the next 10 or 20 years about
what works and what doesn't work and that's what we ought to be doing there are other major players in our society
who need to be encouraged and incubated to become information providers
government nonprofit organizations my
organization is a non-profit we're not techies we have our own bulletin board
service that's on exhibit here wid net other nonprofits need to do the same and
in this way we will create more than the
infotainment network of the future but
we will create experiments that will lead to directions that underlie the
values that we were talking about that give people good positive values from
the institutions that we really rely on to keep our society going in a direction
it needs to go in I think if I can sort of come to the defense to some extent of
the industry when when we're talking about this and in highway you gotta apply a little bit
of the the Willie Sutton theory to this you know you got to do things where the money will come from
you just can't build something and feel the dreams hope they will come
somebody's got to be able to pay for it so some of the applications that the
industry is talking about initially are those things that will generate some
revenue stream that will allow the tremendous capital and investment that's
going to be necessary to make this highway a reality so when you talk about
shopping and video-on-demand and electronic banking transfer or virtual
reality whatever you're talking about there has to be the economic component to it to get to that other level and I
would hope that we would not sort of thumb our noses at those applications
because they are if you want to put it that way necessary evils to get this
highway constructed so we have to look at those things as a step to building
this highway but once that's done we still have to make sure that people have
access to a fundamental basic level of
communications interactivity within the society and somebody's got to pay for
that I think the industry will step up and pay its fair share I think taxpayers would pay their fair
share and to some extent users should pay their fair share and the other thing
I think we need to be careful about is some sort of we were talking about the
value system who's going to be the keeper of the flame who's going to decide the values what values should be
available for example in this society I don't believe politically you could
mandate that the Super Bowl become a pay-per-view event I don't think you
could do that politically but at the same time heavyweight boxing
championship boxing is a pay-per-view event there's a value judgment in there
some people decide boxing is not valuable enough so that you have universal access but the Super Bowl is
there some value judgments being made and there other examples like that so I
believe that we have to not only determine the value system but we also
have to have some input and to say who's going to decide what those values are
let's talk about a downside if you will
someone could possibly bring forth the argument well we're going to create a
generation of people who sit around pressing buttons as to going out and say
you that Public Library that Alan Kay is talking about do we have an opportunity
here for the super information highway to become the savior of education as we
know it or could it turn in the opposite direction I mean it sounds great for a
student in Southern California to be able to read a book in the Library of
Congress well that student do that is that going to improve education well I think the I
think one of the ways of thinking about a different perspective is if you
remember Socrates didn't like writing there's a big gone complained about it
we Revere like writing today but if Socrates said the problem with writing
is that somebody it forces you to follow
arguments rather than participate in them so he thought of writing is
distancing and the thing he really didn't like about it is that the person who wrote the argument down could then
go off and die and never be able to be talked out of it so this thing this
thing that's awkward so there are lots of different perspectives and of course the book has been thought of as a very
alienating technology in different cultures as well
so I don't think it's necessary the the alienating aspect of the technologies
it's a question of using it where they're really powerful for larger scale
goals I think the hard thing about any new technology that comes along is finding
out what its fundamental idea is what it actually makes easier to think about and
what it makes harder to think about and then I have a value system that's set up
that way I don't think anybody can choose the value system what I'm urging
is that people reach for value systems when they're encountering this stuff so
when I would like to have a child for instance and not like to tell a child
you have to have a value of reading a book but I'd love a child to know that
he's making a decision not to read a book and instead to go off and do
something like that rather than just not even think about books as being a
possibility the point the point I'm making the point that concerns me is that all the libraries of the world are
both by been written and put together by
people who control the dominant values of the society if you're part of
minority group your values don't make it into the server and my big concern is how do you
make sure without stimulating the creation of software that has a
diversified opinion how does that get into the server so
that the kid who's sitting there punching up what's in this sort of library server along the information
Highway can get his or her values transmitted back to him
those are the kinds of issues I think we have to address I think this is a very
important point which is who fills the server and the servers it's not one
server that's out there that I think that if we could develop this
environment where there are many many servers innumerable always one more
tomorrow then we have the opportunity of having
education servers I would like to see a
lot more energy coming out of the education community and understanding
what we're talking about today the answer to your question I believe is
that this environment the interactive
broadband environment is much more on
the positive side of Education potentially than the negative and it is
ours to screw up if the education community would rally around building
servers and this may be the the way tax
money moves from traditional forms of
Education to electronic and traditional
forms of education I think we'd all be better off the education community sits
back and only allows us to be driven from a commercial mindset I think we're
going to land up I don't think that will happen because you can see today already
a great deal of interest I mean talk to any teacher the kids come into school playing Gameboy and watching TV and open
to a world of technology that our schools today don't have and and I know
for a fact that many of the leading educational groups are extremely
concerned to have children have access to video on a rainforest or on a tiger
on anything that could begin a conversation and perhaps lead them to a
book and I I mean obviously I can't speak for them but I know many of them are extremely
excited about that possibility and facing the everyday fact that almost
most of our classrooms have one outlet don't have computers and them schools
don't have phones they don't have voicemail I mean there's a tremendous infrastructure upgrade that the majority
of schools does not have a telephone system in the building I mean it is not
wired for communication one phone in the ownness Mr Cable I was going to say
there are some lessons from economics about how to make this medium good for
education you have to make it as cheap as possible you have to drive the cost
down and in that sense you want a mass-market you want everybody in the
country actually everybody on the world on this kind of network and in that sense building it in order to deliver
video on demand and home shopping is
great because it's going to help pay for it that's necessary the key question is
whether the systems that are built in the private sector and owned and
operated where those private sector companies also control a lot of the content whether they also have a full
stranglehold on everything else or whether there is a kind of public
right-of-way down the information Highway whether we find some way to
preserve the principle of common carriage yes let's get rid of all the
regulatory baggage that has really hampered innovation and I think the
vice-president I hope will have a number of interesting things to say about that greatly but you have to let everybody on
to the network who wants to and if they want to put up a server let them put up
a server we have enormous diversity in print compared with broadcast today a half a
million books in print a hundred thousand different periodicals that
begins to approach diversity yes you've got a lot of noise yes you've got a lot
of problems but five hundred channels is not diversity we have to be prepared for
chaos because there's going to be chaos and we have to be prepared for noise
because not everybody that you know pipes up and says something's going to
do it either with good production values or in a way that we find agreeable and
so the policy bedrock for this to get to your question is really the First
Amendment which says that we want to encourage maximum freedom of speech let's get
clever with technology to give parents controls so that if they don't want kids
to watch things kids have to sign in with their own remote and on that remote
there are certain channels that just don't show up I mean we can get very clever about that but if we try to start
imposing values either from the government or private sector fearing
government intervention and saying well we have to police ourselves if we do that in a way to say there are certain
things you can't say and certain things you can't do we're going to lose an
enormous amount of the value the weird ideas in society that start on the
fringes migrate into the center in two or three generations that's how we got
women's right to vote that was a radical disgusting idea about a hundred years
ago go back and read the history books if we have an open network a lot of the
weird radical ideas that we find today to be totally unacceptable will have the
seeds within them 20 40 60 80 years down the road for things that we'll all want
to believe in we need to permit that process to happen all right mr. paper we
used it everyone should have access to the network who wants and we are talking about some violet pornographic material
I think there's been talk of a Heidi Fleiss channel or something like that what do you do
sorry what do you say parents should be allowed to block this if they want to
how do you get you know it's on the responsibility of the parent right I can
hear some people saying how do you get everybody to do that there's gonna be some kid who's gonna fall through the
cracks and watch what he wants to anyway because the parents not going to be worried about if the original theory of
the parent isn't it that they're supposed to be responsible maybe we
should but what I'm what I'm saying is
is that I think that in all of these areas we're talking about including
education that no amount of Technology injected into the home in any which way
are gonna make up for parents who are not interested in learning as a value
and so I think that one of the one of the things that we have to be most careful about is and again here's where
I'm sort of sticks in my throat because I hate the idea of telling other people
what they should do on the other hand I've seen for 25 years
successful schools and unsuccessful schools that I work with and the
successful ones all have close involvement with the parents it's a it's
a three-way consortium between the
parent the child and the the teacher and the school those those three work
together and if they don't work together the system none of the other systems can
make up for it I think the same thing has to be true with with pornography or
any of any of these other things that we may not like the parents is part of the
heritage of living in this country that the parents are supposed to have a strong say in what how their children
are to be raised that's why we have so many school boards we don't want to have
a central association for running all the schools in the in the country but in
order for that to work everybody has to take much more responsibility than they would in say a country like France in
which everything is run from Paris I think I think an issue sort of as
difficult as that may be in terms of parental control over what you view is a
whole question of what voices will be allowed to have full expression without
somebody and voguing and political correctness on the on those opinions and
this is an issue that I think government policymakers are gonna really have to
grapple with and I think the First Amendment is the basis on which you
should make those kind of decisions but it will be a big issue if the if the
questions go to should the klu klux klan be allowed to go on this network and
raise hundreds of millions of dollars spinning out what I believe to be hate
and negative images vice versa should
groups that you would consider negative
to women or homosexuals whatever be allowed access to this main superhighway
and should the cacophony of voices no matter how negative or how bad be
allowed to just to be thrown out against the society and you know I don't know
how you make those kinds of determinations maybe there's still the off button on the system then maybe they
don't they don't control the off button so you can still turn it off but those are things that we'll have to
grapple with and I can assure you that certain members of Congress will not
want to vote for this kind of total first amendment kind of expression but
it's an issue that I think is clearly going to be one that we'll have to
wrestle with privacy and a lot of other things that go along with that well you know this is going to go the other way
though it seemed to me that that Ku Klux
Klan program is not going to be a broadcast program in this world
someone's going to be saying I want to access something I want to connect and I
want to connect to other people who have that common interest and I think that
it's a dicey er First Amendment issue going into this future you know in the
communications industry today you know I think it is fairly clear that the First
Amendment is not is totally protected in terms of what you can say on
communications networks now that you put content in a communications network
should we as individuals of the society be able to access whatever we want and I
think that becomes much dicey right I hope so I mean I can't really actually
we have a very strong First Amendment tradition in this country for a couple
hundred years mostly through the print medium the last 50 years of broadcasting
because of spectrum scarcity opening the door a crack to very intrusive
government regulation of content visa vie other media that history with
broadcast has been counter to the general support for freedom of
expression we don't really need the First Amendment for popular opinions we needed for unpopular opinions and as I
was saying today's unpopular opinion may be hateful in 50 years or it may be the
conventional wisdom it's the nature of a democratic society to tolerate unpopular
opinions one of the advantages of going to an on-demand user controlled
environment is that the stuff doesn't get in your face if you don't want to
see it it does lead tho to potential problems of fragmentation loss of a mass
culture if everybody is doing their own thing do we believe in anything and I
think those are the sort of issues that we really need to be focusing on but
let's let's get the First Amendment in cyberspace where belongs you know I don't think we can
hold the country together by going rigid at any given point in time we have to
learn how to live with flexibility and change this century I think has been
McLuhan said this is the century in which change changed so maybe we can't
handle that extra that extra gear that's going on but I think that we have as
Mitch says we have to have absolutely open access we have to have choice and
we have to have a way for each individual and each family to block out
the stuff that they don't want to see but the whole issue of pornography and
objection objectionable programming or speech is something that is predictable
a new medium comes along and you have
horror stories about kids getting into areas parents don't want them to get
into and then there's call for regulation and there's a call for clamping down if we can predict those
things I think those companies who want to avoid over-regulation and who want to
protect a freedom to be able to have a diversity of programming really need to
be looking at what are the first kinds of programs and the first kinds of
examples of what this technology will mean that they are putting out it needs
to be more than entertainment in order to create a vision of what the community
will be that we will all be connecting the companies really need to look at partnering not just with other companies
but with government with nonprofit organizations to come up with shining
examples examples that they can point to that aren't pornography and and people
writing hate messages to each other but examples of the benefits that this
technology and the information holds out to all segments of society proactively
with community groups now so that we all
can participate in creating a vision of where this is going the biggest problem
that we all have is explaining to people who don't have an involvement in this
area of what on earth we're talking about and we're trying to avoid having
these bad example get thrust in our faces yeah question is
will they own it will the builders of the superhighway the information highway
have a public interest obligation over 90 percent of their capacity 10 percent
of their capacity you know how much of it will be contained in a public
interest standard that the government will say you are licensed to use this electronic magnetic spectrum which is
what we are ultimately talking about what your digitizer to analog you will
be obligated to buy this much as public
access now on the public access people can do what they will you will control
90% 50% 60% and therefore you have some
editorial discretion over what you will let on this system or let into this
server or let into this access system or not and if you use the models that we've
been working with within the past and and and to some extent we're always we
have to build on what we know I don't know how are you gonna divvy up that
role everybody thank you the broadcast
model is not the only model there's the telephone network the telephone
companies don't care what you say they don't look at it they're not allowed to do that in the new world it's not like
you've got scare spectrum you have virtually infinite bandwidth and if you
run out on one fiber you can put in another fiber there is no reason to
allocate to chop things up to control things let people say what they will say
and stand aside the notion of Public Act
Public Interest obligations doesn't work we have a lot
of history to show that it's a very well-intentioned idea which does not
work on the contrary figure out how to take common carriage which is the right
of the users of the system to control the content to do their thing strip it
of all the regulatory baggage that gets in the way of innovation stand back and
make billions of dollars hauling people's traffic around and by the way
you'll also be able to own some of your own content and make money off that if
people watch it that's the way to go I was going to come and very very
similar attempt to Mitch be first you
know I think the values that Deborah and Bob are expressing are important but
what I what I think is going on here we have two present-day worlds heading for
a future world one present-day world is a broadcast world and if the if the
model that is in your mind is a broadcast model that you propel into
this future I think you create the wrong you solve the wrong problem I agree with
Mitch I think we're heading more towards a communications type and environment
where the power goes to the individual and then the problem we have that
Deborah lays out is it's going to be the individuals choice to access whatever
they want to connect to any other human beings they want to whether it is a
common interest in gardening whether it's a common interest in a political
point of view or the diplomat interest on some productivity or gaming or
shopping or whatever and we need to be very careful and delicate that those
rights of the individual are maintained while we find the mechanisms to deploy
the values that you know I think you eloquently lay out are necessary but we
can learn from the history especially of cable and how cable was deployed there
were wonderful expectations that we
would have lots of community programming and we would have more than the
commercially oriented programming that we have but look at what happened the
community oriented programming and public access was not produced with much
money community groups were sort of given access to a studio and do what you
want without the training and without the capability to put on programming
that would be attractive especially that could stand up to the more fancy
produced more commercially oriented programming we need to invest and maybe
government needs to do this although I think private businesses can do this as well in
sources of programming that come from the community that enhance what
government is trying to do that enhance what the nonprofit's I've been talking
about are trying to do and give them enough capability enough know-how and
production behind them to be able to compete and to be able to put something
out there that people will be drawn to does anybody else want to comment on
this subject there's one more kind I think part of the answer to that is the
analogy to desktop publishing which has
changed what kind of thing you can put it of course people have always been
able to write people can put up billboards but desktop publishing
actually allows you to make something that looks like a book that used to cost
hundreds of thousands of dollars to make and I think that is going to extend the development tools for allowing more
people to make things like the professionals do is going to extend into
this media and I think the the other capper on what Mitch is saying is that I
was one of the original one of many who
helped design the ARPANET which turned into the Internet and 25 years ago when
we were doing it the telephone was the model that we had except of course we
didn't want to be able to call two places but two people but we just wanted
to ship bits around we didn't want to say what it was going to be or anything
the service would just take little packets and move them from one place to
another in such a way that when you sent something to somebody it could get to
them regardless of where they were in the world what's happened is the internet over the
last many years has been growing at the
rate of 20 percent a month it still is I believe wouldn't you say Mitch I think it's and there I think there are almost
40 million computers on the internet now worldwide and any of them could be set
up as servers there are hundreds of thousands of servers but there could be
40 million servers there and the network
does not care what you send around because everything is ultimately reduced
to bits and so you have model in the Internet of the kind of thing that could
be it happens that the backbones for the internet are paid for by the government
the government I think NSF had no idea what it was going to grow into but in
fact every time you get on America Online or CompuServe or something and
send somebody to somebody's internet address NSF which means us are paying
for a little bit of that transport of the message that's how Universal
enfranchisement works on that thing there is a guarantee that it will try
and find any of the networks connected to it or as people who are directly on
it so this is a this is the network that has grown over the entire world without
any planning at all it was started off with something much more like the United
States of America with a constitution rather than a detailed plan the
Constitution governed how the thing grew over the years and I think it's through
constitutional strategies that we can
get into the future not with detail plans and trying to specifically anticipate every part of the future
all right turning to something different what happens when the super information
highway moves to your neighborhood in other words we hear a lot of talk about
video malls replacing brick malls is that likely to happen should people
be concerned about losing jobs actually
a good company to be these days would be a company like UPS if you look at if you
look at the way Walmart Walmart is a
tremendous success because it changed the balance of the interactions between
the suppliers and the shippers and how things were going to be buffered in in
warehouses UPS which is already
everywhere or Federal Express is in a
position to be the major broker for getting small items to you through
computer shopping because they already are going by almost every house in
America and so the slightly better packing scheme in their cars they can
they could in a very economical way deal
with small packages at very small cost and so you have this interesting thing
that these changes are not are not only electronic but there's a whole set of
logistics that you have to look at and the strangest companies wind up looking
like big players they really aren't companies like Procter & Gamble because
they don't have a way of distributing it's really a company that can get the
goods to you overnight that are going to be the biggest players in this augmented
by the electronic network but that's where it's some of the possibility for attendant services and new employment
possibilities might emerge I mean yes maybe not as many people are bringing out the cash register at the local mall
but things like what you're saying is people will invent all kinds of ways to
bring new options instead of going out to your home it's obvious and they could
be very exciting see an expert tell you about this and then choose to buy it but
it also seems like there's some family kind of experiences going together to
eat a yogurt and wander into a bookstore that aren't replaceable either because
they're their physical and they're they're part of life too I think I think
another question is it's probably a bigger question is will the neighborhood
be there when the highway gets there [Laughter]
it's you know when we're sitting here talking about spending hundreds of
billions of dollars to rewire America how much of that money is going to be
spent in creating jobs for these people who live in the neighborhoods that are supposed to be the in line of that
Highway how many people will be brought into the economy by the hundreds of
billions of dollars of spending that are going to this new technology how many
people will be trained to work with this new technology and I think if anything
that the that this Advisory Committee that's advising on the information
Highway and indeed the industry should be looking at is how can we while we're
building this highway create the kind of jobs create the kind of stability and
families and in a neighborhoods that will allow us to have customers at the
end of the the construction period and that's got to be a major concern of what
we're facing that that's why I think
that the Bell Atlantic TCI kind of approaches is absolute striking the
right because unless the people are there to
be employed to be consumers to provide some level of security in the in the
neighborhoods you're not going to see that last mile get to the home it's
going to end up in Georgetown it's not go get over in Southeast Washington and that'll be the last mile and these are
the kinds of things that you have to think I think that that we should be experimenting with every kind of way we
can on this information Highway to see if it can help deal with some of the
urban social problems I don't know if it can or not but it's just for example
this is sort of wild but suppose that a parent could create a system where they
could track where their kids are going to be at all times you know it sounds
like you put them in prison and you're putting these little rings around it showed around their hand but perhaps
that might be necessary today where you can say gee I can look on the map the kid tells me he's going over to his
neighbor's house I looked at this system he's not at the neighbor's house he's down at the local club I called him on
his beeper and said get your butt over your neighbor's house you know maybe that's what you have to do to deal with
some of the problems in in the urban environment but I'm for looking at
everything and I think this this this major shift in how we interact has to be
addressed to fundamental social and societal problems today
first of all let's not sell anymore utopias because we're bound to be
disappointed the trick is as Alan said to figure out what this wonderful new
medium is good at and what it's not good at and maybe it is good at helping
people figure out where they are what I worry about though is to the extent to
which people give up even further on their real face-to-face relationships
with each other in favor of some new even more powerful electronic form of
addiction I mean we can go one of two ways the way I see video games going
especially when you can do them over a network where you have violent you know
sexualized violence and what we see today is just a preview you could just
increase the amount of alienation in society and people's inability to see each other as
people a hundredfold through powerful technology or and at its best we can see
seeds of this on the Internet today people are figuring out how to leverage
a small amount of face-to-face contact
over networks so that they are relating to people who have some common interest
that they have even though they're not geographically proximate even though
they form a community that is global in its scope a kind of virtual community we
don't know very much about how to form those and how to keep those together and
how to build on them and I think that's actually should be a very important research agenda for social science
because to me that would be leveraging technology in a very positive way to
help people be more human but if we become more machine like because we're
interacting with these machines we all lose if we can somehow delegate off to
the Machine the drudgery and and leave
ourselves so that for instance teachers stop being policemen and police women
and can become mentors and guides because the computer is used to help
with with the fact that would be a terrific outcome neither outcome is is
written in any book or on any wall we have to make it if we sit back then it's
going to be letting somebody else make those decisions but you know there's a cartoon of two dogs sitting in front of
a computer terminal and one says to the other you know on the internet nobody
knows you're a dog [Music] and behind that cartoon is the reality
that because it's an interactive medium and people are already using the
Internet people are communicating one of the larger groups on the net are people with
disabilities who tend to face a lot of obstacles and barriers to physically
getting out in going places and find the net to be a wonderful place not to be
isolated and a wonderful place to connect with other people that needs to
be Tramp that reality and promise needs to be transposed against the current
reality which is a lot of people not getting out and going anywhere
but being couch potatoes and sitting in front of the tube which is not an
interactive medium and I don't think that's the reality that a lot of us well
some people in this audience do want to encourage but that's not exactly where
we want to go but the marriage is where it's exciting like say you could take
any series that PBS does or that Bob does or that we do and say let people
after it interact with the people who did this put on the Civil War or the
people who watch wings on the Discovery Channel or to any series and let them interact later with the expert write
letters and then interact with each other that's where the video could spur conversations and spur communities of
interest groups that I think would you know bring a richness to people's lives
that could be very exciting do you see
other businesses closing down because of the super information highway because it
is more accessible Oh doing shopping say
going to a video store and buying an actual videotape instead of pressing a button and having it I think Ruth said
two important things in a previous comment and just now but I think the the kind of environment
you justice Clark described is where we should be heading there's probably more
more of the past in the future than we probably normally are willing to admit
and I think we're all going to go to stores and malls because of what
Ruth said earlier in terms of the social side of it but I do think it is
inevitable that more drudgery side of
merchandising and purchasing will be done through the network and that will
be done interactively - I'll be able to call my daughter I live in New Jersey
and call her in San Francisco and say Brenda would you like to go shopping for
an hour I have an hour and and we talk
we chop we talk we talk whatever that's
going to happen and maybe it's not my daughter Brenda you know maybe someone
that Bob knows that I've never met but we have a common interest at that moment
and and I think that's the kind of experimentation that we should be doing
in this pioneering period I also would
just mention that no time in history has
there been an open discussion about the
next revolutionary change as what we're having now that there's something about
art following life and life following art we are actually living at the moment
a very important part of the process of
maybe doing this thing differently because this discussion did not exist
when we went through other periods of massive change before so there is I
think some some reason to be optimistic and yet be very cautious about it as
well well the amount of or the unlimited amount I should say of information that
will flow at our fingertips should we be concerned at all about guaranteeing the
right of privacy all right yeah I think we should be extraordinarily concerned
about it I mean for one thing when you have a lot of individual choice the
dossier that will be compiled on you and your family asked not only to what you
watched but what you bought is going to
be extraordinarily detailed and if there aren't suitable protections you know
that that information is going to be commercially exploited in what that you as the subject of that
information will have no control over and that the point that I want to make is beside the point that you could spend
a whole day just on this issue is there are two types of protections there are
legal protections it is against the law to do X & Y & Z and there are
technological protections the best one of which is not to collect that
information to begin with in other words to build privacy into the system through
technologies of encryption in a way that lets business get done in other words
it's one thing you need to be able if you're the vendor to charge somebody $1
or $2 or whatever it is and to know that
they're going to be able to pay if they're not paying on the spot so you have needs for for that kind of security
and reliability typically we do that through knowing people's identity oh
here's my driver's license you know here's my credit card and it's got my name on it the good news is you don't
have to have somebody's identity to have that security we have $20 bills and $10
bills and cash today and that is one of the great things about cash is you can
go in and buy something anonymously and the merchant takes the money but it
doesn't have all the convenience of credit cards we could have a form of money on this network that combined the
best properties of both that there's sort of security and reliability so
vendors get paid but the anonymity so that if people don't want to become one
more record in a big database it just doesn't happen and they don't have to
trust us of law that might or might not ever get passed that's a pretty
contentious statement what I just said I know the NSA doesn't like it and the
intelligence agencies don't like that because if you give people strong cryptography and if you bake it into the
if you bake it into the system then maybe it does let bad guys do things
that you can't listen in on I don't want to minimize the importance of that
debate but I'll just conclude this point by saying that's the debate that we need
to have how do we get privacy technologically as well as legally how
do we balance that against other there's also the nice escalation for instance
between police radar the kind of sophisticated radar detector
you can buy for your car you know once once we were able to spot radar the
police went to lasers now they have laser detectors and I think I think one
of the problems you're always going to have with privacy is that many
institutions will just have a lot more computing power than any individual and
a lot of the encryption codes are based on problems being theoretically hard but
in fact most of those are just a bunch of brute force work and I think that
it's just like locks blocks are not there to be unbreakable they're there to
to create a certain level of difficulty to keep you want to keep amateurs out
that's fairly easy with locks and there's a group of professional
criminals at each stage of locking that you want to keep out you just want to
make it make it harder for them there's a roller for both industry and
government I have a question for the audience given that there are a lot of company representatives here how many
people work for companies that have a written established policy regarding
privacy consumer privacy not very many
companies can proactively write their own policies and figure out what the
rules are one of the issues around privacy as consumers have to know what
the expectations and what the rules are about information that they're putting
out unwittingly or wittingly about themselves another major point is that
information it should be assumed belongs to the consumer and no one else and
unless the consumer proactively does something not through negative options
where if you don't do something then everybody learns about you unless the
consumer proactively does something and says yes I want that entity over there
to know this about me it doesn't go
first what I said about locks applies even more strongly towards organizations
like the NSA they can put a lock on data that no ammeter could ever uncork so if
they don't want you to find out that they know about something there was no
way that you would be able to that's that's the the other side of the the
ominous coin go ahead just think another there's
nothing about the technology that won't allow all of us to give the customer the
individual the right to determine how much privacy they want are not one and I
think we also just strive to give that choice to the individual the individual
wants to to have be totally private and anonymous they can do that there's
nothing about the technology that prevents that if they would like to advertise or their shoe size so that
people could could let them know about sales of shoes at that size that's their
choice and so I well the problem is that the Bill of Rights that guarantees
unreasonable search and seizure was done before telephone wiretapping was invented so I
would consider somebody tapping a phone to be unreasonable search and seizure
but it it's not that it's not considered that way by the legal system because it
happened afterwards and they decided well we won't just make that part of
what that meant when you had to have physical people to go into your house so
I think that I think that there are some very gray areas here and I agree with
everything you're saying but I think it's one that we have to be cognizant of
that anybody who has a wonderful rationalization for why they should find
out about you already is and they can
have the information locked up in a way
that is almost impossible to prove that they have it okay Allen we have about five minutes left we have time for for
Q&A one question Wow
is there anyone in the audience with a burning question that you'd like to ask this panel come to the microphone please
there on either side of the auditorium already got a candidate over here I'm
I'm the one that wanted to ask the question I thought you worked with us
I'm sorry sir thank you you know what you're giving me signals I
thought you meant alright five more minutes hey go ahead please
that mean we have more time if you don't recall I'm the person that told you at
the last town hall meetings that most of your voters probably most of your
viewers probably didn't vote mr. Juarez oh yeah I remember you yeah that was an
invalid I didn't mean to say it that way
but they were giving me the sign they gave dick cavett earlier my point here
is to drive to drive home the point of the partnership that miss Caplan and the
communities in mr. Johnson and I'm glad you're there in that panel are
discussing I represent the nonprofit network a LULAC project and the concept
of the nonprofit network is to focus on high school students in continuation
high schools and share with them this
information that's in the newspaper every day and give them some background
to telecommunications past present and future and make them facilitators in
their community so that they can go out and enlighten their community about it
and we want to use nonprofit organizations as the end users for what
we call a low-tech network that we want
to implement now this is a this is a win-win-win situation because in this
place you divert the at-risk youth and those those in continuation high schools
are the next step to the street you you divert them from a negative lifestyle
and interest them in something that is truly a it's not a grant it's not a
handout it's a real opportunity when we talk about a level playing field here
this is taking advantage of a real level playing field do you have a question
no I'm not trying to be funny seriously you made some good money this my know if
you have a question my question is is this the panel that will advise whomever
they are out there developing this highway that that at-risk youth need to
play a part in the role of facilitating this so-called communication revolution
and if so please take that message forward thank you mr. Juarez I'm a
member of the panel and I think so if
there are a lot of panel members if you know and I I think yes you're right I think if you trace the the concern I
have is that if you trace the development of communications in this
country it has to be traced to the economic opportunities that are
presented to certain different groups newspapers developed black Americans
didn't know newspapers radio licenses were granted black Americans were not
granted radio licenses when they were when they were granted television
licences were granted black Americans were not given television license
telephone company franchises were created black Americans did not run
telephones cable television systems were awarded very few black Americans owned
cable television system now comes the information highway PC NPCs information
highway I don't believe it'll be an absolute common carry model there will be strong
ownership controls simply because if we wanted a common carrier model the
government can build a common care like they build the highway to real highway
the road highway they're not going to do that it's going to take private money private money's good demand control and
return on investment as they should consequently I think there has to be an
effort made to ensure that diversity of ownership continues to go right along
with diversity of ideas without diversity of ownership you will not get
diversity of ideas I can assure you so my pitch is that as an a member of
the advisory committee at universal access will be a mandate that I will push for as well as diversification of
ownership of the technology ownership of the media that will I think will
stimulate the diversity of ideas that we'll get into the server that we'll get
back into the society that will stimulate a greater communications and discourse in a in a democratic
pluralistic society thank you thank you Robert there's a young lady at this
microphone I'm a teacher 85% of the teachers teaching today have no training
in technology if you think that library that people didn't go to because it was
in the middle of some community where people couldn't read very much as bad you should know that there are a lot of
teachers who would love to do the technology but it's very difficult
because 95 percent of our time is spent in front of students what can industry
help us do to become ready for this superhighway yeah I've been waiting for
that question all the panel time I think
it's the most important question there is about the stuff with regard to
education after the values question one
I work with teachers for 25 years and one thing things that is abundantly
clear when you work with teachers is that they work like mad and they're busy
all the time just prepping for their class is very very difficult to help
them in a couple of weeks in the summer get the kind of fluency that they need
in Japan a teacher in Japan only teaches
half the day they have twice as many teachers per student as we do and the
other half of the day that all of the teachers who are not teaching learn
about new things so one of the things that we really have to do in reforming education again it's
not so much a technological thing it's a social thing is the value the teacher's
time of having to spend continuous on-the-job paid time learning about this
new stuff all right I have I've been given a hard rep and don't want to
impede on the vice president's time thank you very much it's been a pleasure to service
Thank You audience
it's one more time for a stretch we're going to strike the set and the vice
president will be out in about five minutes so stretch time one more time
you're watching coverage of the day-long superhighways Summit held Tuesday at the
University of California at Los Angeles this event examined the future of
information and entertainment technology and was held by the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences speaking
next Vice President Gore who spoke about the potential of the so called
information highway linking homes nationwide Vice President Gore speech
lasts about 45 minutes he then takes questions from the audience
bang bang Hey
okay this is the most on time event in
the history of Hollywood I think to to
introduce our keynote speaker today we have one of California's two United
States senators Barbara Boxer Barbara has served in the United States Congress
for 11 years first as a congresswoman
from the Bay Area until she began her term in the Senate last year she has
spent her political career as an outspoken advocate of common sense and
efficiency thanks to her we all became
aware of the $7,600 coffeepots that the pentagon was buying and it is estimated
that her bill to require competitive bidding by the Defense Department they
save taxpayers more than 1.5 billion dollars yes senator boxer will be
introducing Vice President Gore I'd like to take this opportunity on behalf of
the Academy to thank the vice president from for coming here today he is perhaps
the most knowledgeable political leader in the nation with regard to new
technologies in general and the information superhighway in particular
for this reason President Clinton has made him the administration's point
person on this incredibly important issue it is an extreme honor to have him
with us today and now it is my honor to introduce Senator Barbara Boxer
thank you it's so nice to be with you I am glad somebody got this box it would
be like remember when Queen Elizabeth spoke to the Congress and all you saw
was this that's the way it would have it's an eerie thought well I really want
to thank Richard Frank and the Academy for all of the work that they have done
to put together this historical event which is so crucial to California's
future and I want to thank our UCLA host the Center for communication policy and
recognize the important work of its founders geoff cowan and jeff cole I
think they deserve some praise
I am honored and grateful to be with all of you today to make just a very few
remarks and to introduce our great vice-president I think it's particularly
appropriate that today's event is brought to us by the entertainment
industry and academia to California institutions that will play such a vital
role in our nation's information Highway
make no mistake about it the communications revolution has the
potential to create economic opportunity thousands of jobs and greatly enriched
our educational system our health care system and our quality of life
experts project that after the highway is in place US companies could sell an
additional 3.5 trillion dollars worth of
high-tech goods in the beginning of the year 2001 2002 around that period many
project that by the end of the decade three-quarters of all new jobs will be
in telecommunications and by the year 2010 some estimates show that nearly one
third of California's economic output will be dependent upon the computer and
information industries the revolution will happen but the question remains who
will drive it as a United States Senator from California I say let it be
California we need it and we deserve it
and we're ready for it during the last half century the public and private
sectors invested heavily in our military and California's best in our brightest
went to work creating the finest defense industry notwithstanding some of the
problems we had in the world well the Cold War is over and I say that
California is in the best position to lead again in this era of change
California led the defense buildup now let's lead the information build up from
semiconductors to Seinfeld from Silicon
Valley to Schindler's List this is the state that can make it happen just last
year our cutting-edge computing industry employed over 90,000 Californians and as
trade deficits threatened so many parts of our economy American movies TV
programs and home video materials continue to be the envy of other
industries by creating trade surpluses of over four billion dollars we are the
state with the best higher education system and we better keep it that way
Thank You UCLA for applauding we are the state that brings the world
entertainment and we are the state that sparked the computer revolution now if
we seize this opportunity and I think we're going to do it the marriage of
entertainment education and information will be a match made in heaven for the
California economy Pacbell just announced it will invest sixteen billion
dollars in an information superhighway for California Caltech just linked
itself to UCSD with a high-speed data network and in the Silicon Valley the
public and private sectors have joined together in a project called Smart
Valley in the Golden State this Golden State the revolution has already begun
in California and nationwide information will be the lifeline bringing services
to and between our people and our institutions I pledge as a United States
Senator to work with this great administration with all of you and with this nation's
consumers to make sure that this superhighway increases access protects
privacy and gives our business or educators or medical institutions and
our law enforcement officers the tools that they need to flourish in this new
kind of global economy and now I have a
superb honor to introduce to you the
Vice President of the United States President Clinton in his wisdom has
given Vice President Al Gore some of the most important assignments in the
history of our republic and with good reason
he brings a wealth of intelligence and experience to the job of vice president
this is a man who is a nationally recognized leader on technology a man
who has spent most of his political career laying the policy bricks to build
today's communication foundation as a
senator Vice President Gore introduced and stared to passage the
high-performance computing Act legislation that created a national
high-speed computer network and increased the Rd of high performance
technologies this important legislation is part of President Clinton's
technology and economic initiative as the Vice President of the United States
Al Gore is working overtime to ensure
that government serves as a partner and not as an obstacle in this
communications revolution ladies and gentlemen without further ado I am so
very proud to introduce to you and to welcome to California the Vice President
of the United States of America Al Gore
thank you very much Barbara it is a it's a great privilege to be able to work
with Barbara Boxer we work together in the House of Representatives and we have
been great friends for a long time and she does an outstanding job for this
state she is tireless and determined and
really does a super job along with
Dianne Feinstein they she makes up one of the most effective and best teams in
the Senate that any state in our Union has I want to acknowledge also
congressman Howard Berman who I'm told is here I haven't had a chance to visit
with everyone beforehand so there may be
others I should acknowledge and I apologize if I've missed someone I also
want to thank rich Frank president of the Academy for his help in arranging
this and making this tremendous gathering possible and Andrea rich a
vice chancellor of UCLA for her hospitality and help let me also
acknowledge some of the administration officials who are here the chairman of
the FCC Reed Hundt technically not I said administration official part of the
the chairman of the independent FCC and Dan Goldin director of the that's not
supposed to be a laugh line I guarantee you and the director of NASA Dan Goldin
who is and NASA is not independent of the administration he does a great job
in is from California from the business
community here and Larry Irving the assistant secretary of commerce who is
playing such a key role in our task force and has been doing an outstanding
job well this is quite an event and let
me begin by saying that it is great to be here at the television Academy today
I feel as if I have a lot in common with those of you who are members of the
Academy I was on Letterman
I write my own lines I'm still waiting
for residuals at first I thought that
letterman show could lead to a whole new image maybe maybe a new career
no more Leno jokes about being stiffer than the Secret Service or about being
so stiff you need a strobe light to make it look like I'm moving I thought I
thought maybe it would even lead to an opportunity to do some other shows and I
was just thrilled when I was asked by
Star Trek The Next Generation to come on
the show and do a guest shot I was in
crestfallen when they made it clear that they wanted me to replace the Lieutenant Commander data the historian Daniel
Boorstin who used to be the librarian of Congress once wrote that for Americans
nothing has happened unless it is on
television this of course leaves out a few major events in our history but this
meeting today is on television so apparently it is actually occurring and
it's great to be here I I join you to
outline not only this administration's vision of the national information
infrastructure but our proposals for creating it last month in Washington I
set forth some of the principles behind our vision today I'll talk about the
legislative package necessary to ensure the creation of national infrastructure
in a manner which will connect and empower the citizens of this country
through broadband interactive communication we've all become used to
stumbling over cliches in our efforts to describe the enormity of the change that
is now underway and the incredible speed with which it is taking place often we
call it a revolution the did revolution and speaking of stumbling
over cliches I often used to use the analogy to automobiles saying that if
cars had advanced as it rap as rapidly as computer chips over the last few
years a Rolls Royce would go a million miles per hour and cost only 25 cents
that is I used to use it until I used it at a meeting of computer experts and one
of them spoke up and said yeah but the rolls-royce would be about one
millimeter long in any event what we
have been seeing with this incredible pace of change especially in the last
decade really is amazing but even this change is nothing compared
to what will happen in the decade ahead the word revolution by no means
overstates the case but this revolution
is based on traditions that go far back in our history since the
transcontinental telegraph that transmitted Abraham Lincoln's election
victory where they were counted assembling the vote totals in the East
all the way to California in real time for the first time in history our
ability to communicate electronically has informed and shaped America it was
only a year before that election that the Pony Express was the talk of the
nation able to send a message across our nation in seven days of course the next
year it was of course out of business today's technology has now made it
possible a global community United by instantaneous information and analysis
protesters at the Berlin Wall communicated with their followers
through CNN news broadcasts the fax
machine connected us with demonstrators in Tiananmen Square and so it's worth
remembering that while we talk about this digital revolution as if it's about
to happen in many places it is already
underway even in the White House let me
give you an example but the day after the inauguration
I was astonished to see how relatively primitive the White House communications
system was President Clinton and I took a tour and found operators actually
having to pull cords for each call that came in and plugged them into the right
jack in order to complete the connection it reminded me of the switchboard used
by Ernestine that wonderful character created by Lily Tomlin and there were
actually phones like these straight from
the White House they're still there we
have made some progress they're only in the press room now
but these phones these phones just
didn't meet our needs so now we use modern phones and on trips I use a
cellular phone like this one which some of you have probably used has that ever
happened to Huey excuse me hello
Oh gracious how long have I reached hello have I reached the party to whom I
am speaking I'm not sure this is this is
the Vice President the Vice President Al Gore Al Gore Al Gore little Albert this
is Ernestine the operator my wires must have got crossed I was trying to reach
the vice president of AT&T that's a little company I work for sometimes um
well he may be here somewhere but KITT
perhaps I can help you
Oh mr. vice president
I think maybe you can't help me after all I I'm so glad I have this time with
you I must admit that I have been somewhat a technophobe me and my
switchboard have been codependent but
I'm not sure exactly I mean I'm not sure happy which which which trap to take
well are you sure you can't help me yeah
we're here talking about the the information revolution this is going to
provide lots and lots of information so
hard to change first I had to give up the bail there is no ringy-dingy anymore
there there's only this kind of loan muffled buzz and I never see where we
repairman anymore that's the part I really missed
but I want to be a futurist mr. vice president I want to be a futurist like
you because I think well frankly I'd have a better future well you may have
come to the right place because we're talking about all of these new changes
and all of the new information that's gonna provide the people oh really
mm-hmm let me pretend that I know nothing about this see if this is an
accurate description is it kind of like billions and billions of tiny little
Baykal bits of valuable information strewn in every direction across that
great salad bar in cyberspace is that
its name does that sound more like your local sizzler well you've got the part
about the bits right it does involve lots of you know but what I really want
to know is who's gonna connect those bits is it gonna be the electronically
elite or is it gonna be all of us the people well as a matter of fact that's
also one of the things we're talking about here and we're trying to design it
in a way that will help the people and will help you
Earnestine me you're not telling me is one of the people are you
well yes and we've got this problem in
the white house I was telling these folks about earlier and we're trying to
get rid of the old switchboard now you know about these billions of bits do you
think you might be willing to give up your switchboard and equipment and help
help us in the white house have access to your telephone calls in a heartbeat
here give this to the Smithsonian I'm
going to go now to the library so that I can cram and fill up with information
and lots of those little info bits it's been a pleasure give my best to tipper
she is terrific our new ways of
communicating after this revolution will entertain as
well as inform and more importantly they will educate promote democracy and save
lives and in the process they will also create a lot of new jobs in fact there
they're already doing it the impact on America's businesses will not be limited
just to those who are in the information business like Ernestine virtually every
business will find it possible to use these new tools to become more
competitive and by taking the lead and quickly employing these new information
technologies America's businesses will gain enormous advantages in the
worldwide marketplace and that is important because if America is to
prosper we must be able to manufacture goods within our borders and sell them
not just in Tennessee but Tokyo not just
in Los Angeles but Latin America last month when I was in Central Asia the
president of Kyrgyzstan told me his eight-year-old son came to him and said
father I have to learn English but why
president a Kiev asked because father
the computer speaks English well by now
we're becoming familiar with the ability of the new communications technologies
to transcend international boundaries and bring our world closer together but
many of you are now in the process of transcending other old boundaries the
boundary lines which have long defined different sectors of the information
industry the speed with which these boundaries are eroding is quite dramatic
I'm reminded of an idea of Stephen Hawking the British physicist Hawking
has Lou Gehrig's disease but thanks to information technology he can still
communicate not only with his students and colleagues but with millions around
the world incidentally I read the other day that his voice box has an American
accent because it was developed here in California anyway in that American
accent Hawking has speculated about a distant
future when the universe stops expanding and begins to contract eventually all
matter comes colliding together in what he calls the Big Crunch which many
scientists say could then be followed by another Big Bang a universe expanding
outward once again our current information industries Cable local
telephone long-distance telephone television film computers and others
seem headed for a big crunch big bang of
their own the space between these
diverse functions is rapidly shrinking between computers and televisions for
example or between interactive communication and video but after the
next Big Bang in the ensuing expansion of the information business the new
marketplace will no longer be divided along current sectoral lines there may
not be cable companies or phone companies or computer companies as such
everyone will be in the bit business and I don't mean the baked obit business the
functions provided will define the marketplace there will be information
conduits information providers
information appliances and information
consumers that's the future it's easy to
see where we need to go it's hard to see
how we get there from here when faced with the enormity and complexity of the
transition some retreat to the view best enunciated years ago by Yogi Berra when
he said what we have here is an insurmountable opportunity
not long ago this transition did seem
too formidable to contemplate but that is no longer the case because a
remarkable consensus has now emerged
throughout our country in business in public interest groups and in government
this consensus begins with agreement on
the right specific questions we must answer together how can government
ensure that the information marketplace emerging on the other side of this big
crunch will permit everyone to be able to compete with everyone else for the
opportunity to provide any service to all willing customers next how can we
ensure that this new marketplace reaches
the entire nation and then how can we
ensure that it fulfills the enormous promise of education economic growth and
job creation today I'll provide our
administration's answers to those questions but before I do let me state
my firm belief that legislative and
regulatory action alone will not get us where we need to be this administration
argued in our national performance review last year that government often
acts best when it sets clear goals acts
as a catalyst for the National Team work required to achieve them and then let's
the private and nonprofit sectors move the ball downfield it was in that spirit
that then Governor Clinton and I campaigning for the White House in 1992
said as a vital national goal linking every classroom in every school in the
United States to the national information infrastructure it was in
this same spirit that less than a month ago I pointed out that when it comes to
telecommunications services schools are the most impoverished institutions in
our society and and that has to change and so I have
been pleased that so many companies participating in the communications
revolution are now talking about voluntarily providing free access to the
NII for every classroom in their service areas and I would like to take the
opportunity today to congratulate two
companies Bell Atlantic and TCI for their joint announcement yesterday in
which they both individually committed to do just that that's leadership from
the private sector
setting goals for ourselves is important
setting the right goals is critical so
let me be clear here today in articulating what I believe is one of
the most important goals for all of us to agree to at this meeting that by
January 11th of the year 2000 you will
connect and provide access to the
national information infrastructure for every classroom every library and every
hospital and clinic in the entire United States of America
I challenge all of the CEOs who are on
the panel and in the audience during the CEO summit at the end of the day to make
this commitment at the conclusion of your meeting and then to challenge and
turn the CEOs of every other company in your industries to accept and help us
meet this goal if you will make this commitment today our administration will
issue the same challenge to state regulators governors mayors school
board's teachers librarians hospital administrators and citizens throughout
this country by meeting this challenge we can realize the full potential of the
information revolution to educate to
save lives provide access to health care and lower medical costs our nation can
and must meet this challenge the best way to do it is by working together just
as communications industries are moving
to the unified information marketplace of the future so must we move from the
traditional adversarial relationship between business and government to a
more productive relationship based on consensus we must build a new model of
public-private cooperation that if properly pursued can bring great
benefits to the American people and avoid the huge transaction costs which
are often associated with the old adversarial approach but make no mistake
about it one way or another we will meet
this goal the American people want it industry supports it our future demands
it it is one of the principal reasons we are moving this year on national
telecommunications reform as I announced last month we will shortly introduce a
legislative package that aggressively confronts the most pressing
telecommunications issues and is based on five principles this administration
will encourage private investment provide and protect competition provide
open access to the network take action to avoid creating a society of
information haves and arts and encourage flexible and responsive governmental
action many of you have our white paper
today outlining the bill in detail if you did not get your copy it's available
on the internet right now let me run through the highlights with you briefly
and talk about how they grow out of our five principles we begin with two of our
basic principles the need for private investment and fair competition the
nation needs private investment to complete the construction of the
national information infrastructure and competition is the single most critical
means of encouraging that private investment I referred earlier to the use
of the Telegraph to bring the news here to California in 1960 of Abraham
Lincoln's election Congress had funded
Samuel Morse's first demonstration
project for The Telegraph in 1844 Morse
then suggested to the Congress that a national system be built by the
government but Congress said no and
insisted that private investment be used to build that information infrastructure
and that's what happened to the great and continuing competitive advantage of
our country to this day today we must
choose competition again and protect it against both suffocating regulation on
the one hand and unfettered monopolies on the other to understand why
competition is so important we need only recall what has happened since the
breakup of AT&T ten years ago this month as recently as 1987 AT&T was still
projecting that it would take until the year 2010 to convert 95% of its long
distance network to digital technology then it became pressed by the
competition and as a result AT&T made its network
virtually 100% digital by the end of 1991 meanwhile over the last decade the
price of Interstate long distance service for the average residential
customer declined over 50 percent now
it's time to take the next step we must open the local telephone exchanges those
wires and switches that link homes and offices to the local telephone companies the
pressure of competition on the information superhighway will be great
and it will drive continuing advancements in technology quality and
cost incidentally when I first coined
the phrase information superhighway 15 years ago I was not prepared for some of
the unusual images it would ultimately bring into our language for example one
businessman made this point I'm making here about competition and the pressure
of competition when he told me last week that his company was accelerating its
investments in new technology to avoid
ending up as roadkill on the information superhighway and just this week I
received a letter from a group of companies wanting to be allowed to
compete who complained that they were scared of being parked at the curb on
the information superhighway in any
event to take one example of what competition means cable companies
electric utilities and long distance companies must be free to offer two-way
communications and local telephone service to accomplish this goal our
legislative package will establish a federal standard that permits entry to
the local telephone markets moreover the FCC will be authorized to reduce
regulation for telecommunications carriers that lack market power we
expect open competition to bring lower prices and better services but let me be
clear we insist upon safeguards to ensure that new corporate freedoms will
not be translated - sudden and unjustified rate increases
for telephone customers the advancement
of competition will necessarily require
more opportunity as well for the regional Bell operating companies
current restrictions on their operations are themselves the legacy of the breakup
of AT&T and must now be re-examined the
administration endorses the basic principles of the Brooks Day bill which
proposes a framework for allowing long-distance and local telephone
companies to compete against each other
regulation and review of this framework should be transferred from the courts to
the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission this
process of change must be carefully calibrated we must make sure that the
regional bills will not be able to use their present monopoly positions as
unfair leverage into new lines of business that is why the administration
supports the approach of the Brooks tingled provision that requires the
approval of the Department of Justice and the FCC before the regional bells
may provide inter exchange services most notably in long distance in working with
Congress the administration will explore the creation of incentives for the
regional bells we want to increase the transparency of these facility based
local services that raise concerns associated with cross subsidization and
abuses of monopoly power our view of the
entry of small local telephone companies or local telephone companies generally
into cable television also balances the advantages of competition against the
possibility of competitive abuse we will continue therefore to bar the
acquisition of existing cable companies by telephone companies within their
local service areas we need this limitation to ensure that no single
giant entity controls access to homes and offices but to increase diversity
and benefit consumers we will permit telephone companies to provide video
programming over new open access systems even these measures however may not
eliminate all scarcity in the local loop of course the local loop meaning those
information byways that provide that last electronic connection with homes
and offices for some time in many places there are likely to be only one or two
broadband interactive wires probably owned by cable or telephone companies in
the long run the local loop may contain a wider set of competitors offering a
broad range of interactive services including wireless microwave and Direct
broadcast satellite but for now we cannot assume that competition in the
local loop will end all of the accrued market power of past regulatory
advantage and market domination we cannot permit the creation of
information bottlenecks that adversely affect information providers who use the
highways as a means of supplying their customers nor can we permit bottlenecks
for information consumers who desire programming that may not be available
through the wires that currently enter their homes or offices preserving the
free flow of information requires open access our third basic principle how can
you sell your ideas your information your programs if an intermediary who is
also your competitor has the means to unfairly block your access to customers
we cannot subject the free flow of content to artificial constraints at the
hands of either government regulators or would-be monopolist we must also guard
against unreasonable technical obstacles we know how to do this we've seen this
problem in our past for example when
railroad tracks were different sizes a passenger could not travel easily from a
town served by one railroad to a town served by another but the use of
standardized tracks permitted the creation of a national system of rail
transport accordingly our legislative package will contain provisions died to
ensure that each telephone carriers networks will be readily accessible to
other users we will create an affirmative obligation to interconnect
and to afford non-discriminatory access to network facilities services functions
and information with the customer keeping the same telephone number we
must also ensure the future of non-commercial broadcasting there must
be public access to the information superhighway
now these measures will preserve the future within the context of our present
regulatory structures but in our view that's not enough we must move toward a
regulatory approach that encourages investment promotes competition and
secures open access and one that's not
just a patchwork quilt of old approaches but is instead a new approach that
promotes fair competition in the future we begin with a simple idea similar
entities must be treated similarly but
let's be clear our quest for equal treatment of competing entities will not
blind us to the economic realities of the new information marketplace we're
apparent similarities may mask important
differences this idea is best expressed in the story about the man who went into
a restaurant and ordered the rabbit stew when it came he took a few bites and
call the manager over and said this doesn't taste like rabbits - it tastes
well it tastes like horse meat the manager was embarrassed and he admitted
that he had run out of rabbit and he
said well I I did put some horse meat in it the guy said well how much horse meat
did you put in and he said the manager said well it's equally divided customer
said well what do you mean equally divided he said well one rabbit and one horse
maybe the lesson is obvious a start-up
local telephone company isn't the same as a baby Bell what we favor is genuine
regulatory symmetry that means that regulation must be based on the services
that are offered and the ability to compete not on corporate identity
regulatory history or technological
process for example our legislative package will grant the Federal
Communications Commission the future authority under appropriate conditions
to impose non-discriminatory access requirements on cable companies as cable
and telephone service become harder and harder to distinguish this provision
will help to ensure that labels derived from past regulatory structures are not
translated into inadvertent and unfair competitive advantages as different
services are grouped within a single corporate structure we must ensure that
these new can combine the entities are
not caught in a crossfire of conflicting and duplicated regulatory burdens and
standards this administration will not let existing regulatory structures
impede or distort the evolution of the
communications industry in the information marketplace of the future we
will obtain our goals of investment competition and open access only if
regulation matches the marketplace that requires a flexible adaptable regulatory
regime that encourages the widespread provision of broadband interactive
digital services that's why the administration proposes the creation of
an alternative regulatory regime that is unified as well as symmetrical our new
regime would not be mandatory but it would be available to providers of
broadband interactive services such companies could elect to be regulated
under the current provisions of the Communications Act or under a new title
title seven that would harmonize that those provisions in order to provide a
single system of regulation these title
seven companies would be able to avoid the danger of conflicting or duplicate
of regulatory burdens but in return they would provide their services and access
to their facilities to others on a non-discriminatory basis the nation
would thus be assured that these companies would provide open access to
information providers and consumers and the benefits of competition including
lower prices and higher quality services to their customers this new method
itself illustrates one of our five principles that government must be
flexible our proposals for symmetrical
and ultimately unified regulation demonstrate how we will initiate
direction-- that furthers our substantive principles but that adapts
and disappears as the need for government intervention changes or ends
they demonstrate as well the new relationship of which I spoke earlier
the private and public sectors working
together to fulfill our common goals the principles that I have described thus
far will build an open and free
information marketplace they will lower prices stimulate demand and expand
access to the national information infrastructure they will in other words
help to attain our final basic principle avoiding a society of information haves
and have-nots there was a Washington Post headline
last month that read this way will the information superhighway detour the poor
well not if we have anything to do about it
our administration believes that it is
basic to require that all be served
after all governmental action to ensure universal service has been part of
American history since the days of Ben Franklin's post office we will have in
our legislative package H wrong mandate to ensure universal
service in the future and I want to explain why we have become an
information-rich society almost 100
percent of households have radio and television and about 94 percent have
telephone service three-quarters of all households have a VCR about 50 about 60
percent now have cable and roughly 30 percent of households have personal
computers as the information infrastructure expands and breadth and
depth so too will our understanding of the services that are deemed essential
this is not a matter of guaranteeing the right to play video games it is a matter
of guaranteeing access to essential services we cannot tolerate nor in the
long run can this nation afford a society in which some children become
fully educated and others do not
nor can we tolerate a society in which some adults have access to training and
lifetime education and others do not nor can we permit geographic location to
determine whether the information highway passes by your door I've spoken often about a vision of a
school child in my hometown of Carthage Tennessee being able to come home after
school and turn on her computer and plug into the Library of Congress Carthage is
a small town its population is only about 2,000 so let me emphasize the
point we must work to ensure that no geographic region of the United States
rural or urban is left without access to broadband interactive service so yes we
support opening the local telephone exchange to competition but we will not
permit the dismantling of our present national networks now all this won't be
easy it is critically important therefore that all carriers must be
obliged to contribute on an equitable and competitively neutral basis to the
preservation and advancement of universal service the responsibility to
design specific measures to achieve these aims will be delegated to the
Federal Communications Commission and of course to the states but where the FCC
is concerned their actions will be required in the legislation they have
the flexibility and it will be carefully defined but our basic goal is simple
there will be universal service that definition will evolve as technology and
the infrastructure advance and the FCC and we're confident the states as well
will get the job done reforming our communications laws is only one element
of the administration's NII agenda we'll be working hard to invest in critical
information infrastructure technologies will promote applications of the NII in
areas such as scientific research energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing
we'll work to deliver government services more efficiently we'll also
update our policies to make sure that privacy and copyright are protected in
the networked world will help law enforcement agencies thwart criminals
and terrorists who might use advanced telecommunications to commit crimes and
the administration is working with industry to develop the new technologies
needed for the information infrastructure initiative I've been
working as well with the First Lady's healthcare task force and former Surgeon
General C everett Koop and others to develop ways we can use networks to
improve the quality of health care beginning this month we are
concentrating first of all on the legislative package that I outlined
earlier we haven't invented all of the ideas that it contains representatives
Dingell and Brooks Markey and feels voucher and Oxley and senators Hollings
in Norway and Danforth have all focused on these issues in constructive ways in
many ways our legislative goals reflect or compliment their work we expect to
introduce our legislative package in short order and to work with Congress to
ensure speedy passage this year of a bill that will stand the test of time
our efforts are not of course confined only to government the people in this
room and the private sector in general symbolize the importance of private
enterprise our economic future will depend in a real sense on your ability
to grasp opportunity and turn it into concrete achievement as we move into the
new era we must never lose sight of our heritage of innovation and
entrepreneurship in some ways we appreciate that heritage more when we
see countries that don't have it last month in Russia I had a chance
again to see close up a country that tried to hold back the Information Age a
country that used to put armed guards in front of copying machines in a way I
guess we should be grateful they did that it helped to strengthen the desire
and courage of the Russian people to bring about the end of communism my hope
now is that Central and Eastern Europe and all the states of the former Soviet
Union can use in the free market to build democracy
and not thwart and my hope is that
America born in revolution can lead the
way in this new peaceful world revolution so let's work on it together
a few months ago Toni Morrison won the
Nobel Prize for Literature it was a proud and signal moment for this country
recognition of an african-american woman who has communicated inside and
narrative power to readers all over the world in her acceptance speech Toni
Morrison used one version of an old story a parable really to make an
interesting point it was about a blind
old woman renowned for her wisdom and a boy who decided to try to play a trick
on her he captured a small bird cupped
it in his hands and said to her old
woman is this bird alive or dead if she
said dead he planned to set it free and prove her wrong if she said alive he
planned to quickly crush its life away and prove her wrong she thought a moment
and said the answer is in your hands her
point is that the future of language is in our hands or put more broadly the
future of communications as we prepare
to enter the new millennium we are learning a new language it will be the
lingua franca of the new era it is made up of ones and zeros and bits and bytes
but as we master it as we bring the digital revolution into our homes and
schools we will be able to communicate ideas and information in fact entire
Toni Morrison novels with an ease never before thought possible and so we meet
today on common ground not to predict the future but to make
firm the arrangements for its arrival let us master and develop this new
language together the future really is in our hands thank
you [Applause] [Music]
thank you are we on here yes thank you very much that's I think giving us a lot
to think about and quite an aggressive agenda the vice president has agreed to
and will also be with us in addition saxophonist and tonight's star music
director Branford Marsalis will be here we begin with Jim Sheridan and Gerry
Conlon in 1974 Gerry Conlon was arrested and
convicted for the IRA bombing of a pub outside London his father and several
members of his family were also convicted as part of the bombing conspiracy none were members of the IRA
and authorities had virtually no evidence against them after 15 years in
prison Conlon was proved innocent Jim Sheridan the oscar-nominated director of
my left foot adapted Conlon's memoir in the name of the father for the screen it
stars Daniel day-lewis and Emma Thompson and we're pleased to have Jerry and Jim
with us to talk about this film that's gotten a lot of praise at Oscar time
welcome great to have you here thank you thank you good to have you tell me why
you say that this is more of a film about a father and a son than about
injustice well when the script came to me it came
from a friend of mine Terry George who was asked to originally write a
screenplay by Gabriel Byrne who's the executive producer on the firm and the
story that Terry had detailed after a
lot of conversation with Gerry was an in story of the Guildford four injustice
and I was interested in it and you know the people were free of jail you know
and I'd remember Gerry walking out of
the Old Bailey and given this famous speech that you know didn't actually
play an American television but he basically walked out and said you know I spent 15 years in jail for something I
didn't do I saw my father die in a British prison for something he didn't
do and had a huge reverberation now it
was only when I read the script that I thought hold on a second did they call it the Guildford four
and the McGuire 7 you know the father was part of the McGuire 7 and Jerry was
part of the Guilford forward 9 thought well how can you break a family up like
that into component parts so I thought my idea was to kind of put the family
back together again and the only way to do that was to put the father and son
into a situation you know obviously in the prison and I was looking for a story
about a good father and Guiseppe Conlon was that Jerry's father it was a saint a
saint I think so you know in lots of ways he was you know it's when you say
something about a saint that almost demean somebody no in the world you know
because it sounds like somebody who's dry and arid he wasn't like that he just wasn't a well man and but he followed
Jerry to England after Jerry got arrested you know in a kind of innocent
way to just get Jerry a lawyer and it's
a tragedy like his lawyer was supposed to turn up at his house that night in
Belfast and he didn't and Giuseppe got on the boat and you know he went to
Jerry's forest Anne's house who had already been arrested so they went there
and then he went to the next house and he went in meanwhile the police were you
know pather and Jerry and getting a confession of them and then they turn up
at the aunt's house and giuseppe's arrested and he's brought and it's like Orpheus in the underworld
his dad goes after him into hell to try and rescue him and in a way Guiseppe to
me represents all the victims not just the people of West Belfast who are
essentially Catholic and would be you know tarnished with the name of IRA or
wherever or you know the authorities would basically say you know IRA once
you're from that part of the city but to me he represents everybody who suffered
like the Catholics the Protestants even the soldiers who you know are young kids
from the north of England who are 20 widely you know it's like giuseppe dough
was the you know is so quintessentially
innocent yes before we I want to come back to you but didn't when you went
into prison did you think of your father this way no I did not the last thing I
imagined - my father would end up in prison with me but I'd seen my father shortly before
I was moved England my mother and father had come to Springfield Road police
station in Belfast where I was being held they put in some clothes that had
been requested by the RUC because the
baton I had received at our Hans had left my clothes saturated and blood would say they'd stripped off me so
therefore they had to get me some fresh clothes and when my mother and father arrived I actually seen them but talking
did that their sergeant and when I made an effort to try and contact him I was trilled into the toilet by the her by
two English policemen and an Irish policeman and I was given the further baton and the last thing I thought was
that I'm gonna bump into my father in prison so it was a tremendous shock to
suddenly realized her he was along with me I just couldn't believe it here was a
man who'd never harmed anyone in his life was totally anti violent along with
my mother there was no politics ever involved in our house the only pictures of her in
our house were religious pictures so the enormous shock of not only myself being
arrested and tortured and taken to England but then finding that not only
had my father been arrested but several members of my family been arrested as
well and tainted with the evidence which was obviously fabricated