Public TV and Universal Access: Bringing Home the Electronic Highway
On November 4 and 5, 1993, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, the LBJ Sch=
ool of Public Affairs, the Public Broadcasting System, and the Allian=
ce for Public Technology will hold a telecommunity conference to asse=
ss the past and future of public electronic media.
Thursday, November 4, will begin with a retrospective celebrating 25 =
years of public television. Panelists, who will critically assess t=
he contribution of PBS to education and to conveying public culture i=
nclude Douglass Cater, aide to President Johnson; Shari Lewis, produc=
er of children's programming; and Roger Resenblatt, Time Magazine and=
McNeil/Lehrer News Hour.
Thursday afternoon will focus on the potential of the new electronic =
superhighway if its services were available in people's homes. Pane=
lists will discuss present demonstration projects and future possibil=
ities in the areas of health, jobs, and education. A final speaker =
will discuss electronic curb cuts=D1that is, the ways in which effort=
s to assist the disabled will assist us all.
Friday will be devoted to a summit on telecommunications policy. Thr=
ee panels including representatives from a variety of telecommunicati=
ons media, consumers, and government will discuss the following quest=
1. From Highway to Home. Can we reasonably adopt a national goal of=
broadband sevices in the home? If yes, within what time? Will the=
re be more than one or only one network? What will be the nature of =
the "last mile;" that is, the portion of the network from the curb in=
to the home?
2. Can We Live by Entertainment Alone? Does the present regulatory =
framework promote reaching the goal of broadband to the home? What s=
hould constitute universal service in the 21st century? Are there inc=
entives for creating health, education, and other public services on =
the network? Will such public services emerge from an unregulated, co=
mpetitive information industry?
3. Who Pays for the Highway and Who Benefits? How do we ensure affor=
dable access to the network for all? What role, if any, should govern=
ment play in ensuring universal service? Is there any place for reg=
ulation? If so, what kind?
The conference is free and open to the public. It will be held at t=
he LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. People who would like to obtain fur=
ther information about hotels or the conference may request a brochur=
e from Barbara Biffle, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, 2313 Red River Stre=
et, Austin, Texas 78705. 512-482-5137. More detailed substantive q=
uestions may be addressed to Susan G. Hadden. Internet [log in to unmask]
c.utexas.edu. Attached is a more complete program and an issues pa=