The Telematics Advanced Program: A Noble Idea Bites the Dust

Deanna Robinson (University of Oregon)

Abstract: The Telematics Advanced Program (TAP), a virtual curriculum proposed by an industry/government/university group, failed to materialize for a complex set of reasons, including the insistence of many state and provincial universities that Internet-based education should be embraced only as a cash cow to provide additional funds for traditional campus-based teaching. Companies fed into this perception by increasingly favouring technical training over advanced education as their stable monopoly-based environment shifted to uncertain circumstances and cutthroat competition. These factors produced personnel and goal confusion within the sponsoring group and hampered its ability to acquire funding. Lack of advanced technological infrastructure also prevented realization of the TAP vision of small, interactive virtual seminars.

Résumé: Le Telematics Advanced Program (TAP), un curriculum virtuel proposé par un regroupement industriel/gouvernemental/universitaire, n'a pas pu devenir réalité pour un ensemble complexe de raisons, y compris l'insistance de la part de plusieurs universités étatiques et provinciales que l'enseignement à l'Internet n'est utile que comme source de revenus supplémentaires pour l'enseignement traditionnel en salle de cours. Des compagnies encouragèrent cette perception en favorisant de plus en plus la formation technique au détriment des études avancées, la conséquence de circonstances incertaines et de concurrence acharrée remplaçant un environnement stable et monopoliste. Ces facteurs jetèrent la confusion au sein du groupe parraineur tant au niveau du personnel que de ses buts et diminua la capacité du groupe à obtenir des fonds. L'absence d'une infrastructure technologique avancée empêcha aussi la réalisation de la vision TAP de petits a éminaires virtuels et interactifs.

In November 1996 the Pacific Advanced Communication Consortium (PACC) held a conference at the University of Oregon to design the Telematics Advanced Program (TAP), a graduate-level distance education program for industrial, academic, and government telecommunications and computer (telematics) professionals. The conference was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the University of Oregon, and industrial members of PACC. After the conference the 80 people who had attended devised 50 courses in three key areas--telematics regulation, economics, and technology--to be taught via the Internet by internationally recognized experts. The program was intended not only as a vehicle for high-level telematics education but also as a model for interactive cyberseminars, as opposed to lecture-based electronic distance education.

A TAP proposal was submitted in June 1997 to the Sloan Foundation, which earlier had indicated its interest in funding TAP (see URL: http://www.sloan.org). However, the Sloan Foundation did not support TAP and both the distance education program and PACC itself dissolved the next year. This analysis of why TAP failed may help prevent other distance education efforts from similarly "biting the dust."

Background

The original members of PACC1 assembled to write a proposal for a NASA Center for the Commercial Development of Space. Because no NASA centers then existed west of the Mississippi and because NASA feedback indicated that the PACC proposal was well received, PACC expected that either it or the only other Western applicant, a group from Hawaii, would receive one of the two available multimillion dollar grants. One award was expected to go to a Maryland group because of the powerful Congressional positions of some of its supporters. PACC members were shocked when NASA announced that another East Coast consortium, a Florida group with strong Congressional ties, was given the second grant.

Subsequent to the failure to locate a NASA center in the West, PACC members decided that if their region was to benefit quickly from an advanced information infrastructure, they would have to develop it themselves. American northwest states and Canadian western provinces shared similar cultures, political problems, and economic interests. Washington, DC and Ottawa were far away and, in both countries, only interinstitutional and company co-operation would provide the sort of political visibility and economic co-operation necessary to keep the northwest region competitive in the information era. In 1993 PACC was incorporated as a 501 C (6) non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon on behalf of university, government, and industry members located in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska, and Hawaii (added because that state had similar circumstances and interests).2

PACC members already had been conducting informal "networking" meetings for several years before formal incorporation. After incorporation the organization membership grew to about 500, more formal conferences were held, and PACC conducted a NASA-funded research project for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on satellite communication needs in rural areas. Interinstitutional and company co-operation was easy to achieve during the late 1980s and early 1990s when local telephone companies were still monopolies and cellular systems were just getting up to steam. Universities still operated in the same manner that they had for hundreds of years and remained relatively ignorant about changes that would be demanded of them as the information era evolved.

The Telematics Advanced Program

As the deregulation trajectory picked up speed and budget cuts hit universities, the Telematics Advanced Program (TAP) evolved from the education and research interests of PACC members, all of whom were experiencing difficulty in keeping up with rapid regulatory, competitive, and technological changes. Although an individual might be the world's greatest expert in a narrow telematics niche, s/he could not easily stay abreast of the fluctuating forces affecting that niche. The concept of TAP was born in a PACC Executive Board discussion about the educational needs of member companies. Two primary needs were identified:

These needs produced the following TAP goals:

At the November 1996 TAP Conference, a Sloan Foundation program manager said that Sloan would be interested in funding a PACC program of 25 courses, if at least five of them were taught by industry experts. Committees put together 50 courses, half of which would be taught by industry and government experts, the other half by academics. Because distance was irrelevant to the envisaged cyberseminars and PACC wanted to engage well-recognized experts, TAP's initial faculty were drawn from institutions and companies around the world (see Appendix A for a list of the proposed courses and institutions involved). A full TAP proposal was submitted to Sloan in June 1997 and turned down.

Why TAP failed

Times changed

The 1970s oil crisis produced a crisis in economic thinking. Keynesian theory, a support for the welfare state, gave way over the next two decades to neo-liberalism, a "pure" free-market economic theory that excludes the moral philosophy element from Adam Smith's classical economic perspective (see Heilbroner & Milberg, 1995). Although not all governments totally embrace neo-liberalism, the global trend toward privatization and deregulation of communication entities signifies a lessened role for government and a promotion of free market competition. One manifestation of this fundamental change is the new mission statement of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission which adds encouragement of competition in all communications markets to the agency's original mandate to protect the public interest, convenience, and necessity (see URL: http://www.fcc.gov).

By the time PACC put together the TAP curriculum, deregulation was in full swing in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which opened the last bastion of telecommunications monopoly, local telephone service, to competition. Similar policy shifts in Canada privatized government-owned-and-operated telephone companies and deregulated others. Even though PACC members knew deregulation would happen, most people did not understand how profoundly it would affect the competitive environment. Even before the actual acts were passed, companies scrambled to restructure, rationalize, merge, sell, and generally redefine their primary products and how the companies would function. These changes caused great turmoil within PACC as stability and co-operation segued into uncertainty and competition.

Employment insecurity translated into citizen tax revolts in some states with a subsequent decline in state support for higher education. While their budgets declined, U.S. universities slowly came to grips with the exigencies of information-age higher education.

Ongoing discussion of higher education's perceived functional and operational crisis eventually included a widely circulated 1998 article that convinced many academics they were looking at a future with three types of institutions: (1) "brandname" U.S. Ivy League and other first-rank Canadian and American universities, (2) "mass provider" state and provincial universities, and (3) "convenience" diploma-mill training institutions. According to the article's author, Chester Finn (1998), the premier group is expected to keep doing what it always has, providing certification for the future elite. Diploma mills like Athabaska University in Alberta, a distance education institution, and Phoenix University, a builder of small local campuses around the U.S., will continue to serve industry and individual training needs. The mass provider group includes the state and provincial universities involved with TAP. Both the intent and failure of the TAP project are partially explained by these institutions' uncertainty about how they fit into a new order of higher education, including how they can serve industry needs, become more entrepreneurial in the face of budget cuts, and learn to cope with an increasingly competitive environment as more diploma mills and competitor-sponsored Internet programs operate in their backyards.

Governments, too, faced increasing interstate/provincial competition as they negotiated with high-tech companies to locate or remain in their areas. Even within the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), a co-operative economic organization funded by states and provinces to stimulate the regional economy, governments understood the need to compete among themselves for companies and jobs. However, because an advanced regional telecommunications infrastructure was seen as necessary for the entire region's development, PNWER members co-operated in establishing a telecommunications working group, a group that, like PACC, struggled in the face of the new competitive environment to gain and retain industry members.3

Personnel changed

As PACC's core organizations revved up to cutthroat competition, the composition of the Executive Board changed from high-level visionary executives to in-the-trenches practical managers. PACC's committed and hard-working original chairman, a top executive heavily involved in telematics research and strategy planning, retired in the face of his local telephone company's restructuring and changing goals. An equally powerful and visionary executive from a large long-distance company stepped into the chair position but shortly found himself, as head of a wireless division, in a key strategic position within the parent company. He identified another person within the same organization to take over the chair's responsibilities but that man was soon buried in company travel and litigation. With only one exception, every original PACC Executive Board member was laid off, retired, or given another job within his or her company. Even the Executive Director, a university professor, fell victim to restructuring as her department was merged with another unit less sympathetic to PACC and its goals.

These changes had two effects on PACC and, consequently, TAP as a PACC project. The individual composition of the board began to fluctuate as those who knew the history of the organization were replaced by newcomers who came to the organization with different personal and corporate goals. The corporate composition of the board also became fluid as high-level executives and, consequently, their companies dropped off. PACC faced the problem of whether to ask companies to appoint people to the board or to find new individuals, perhaps with different companies, who had an intrinsic interest in such an idealistic organization, people who became increasingly harder to find in the hard-nosed restructured companies. The end result was a largely new board whose members began to question PACC's original goals as a public service organization, suggesting that the organization should be recast as an entrepreneurial business-like entity or a lobby group.

In sum, the original industrial members of PACC tended to be executives interested in their companies' technological and social as well as economic goals. As a comparatively secure telecommunications environment ignited into heated and uncertain competition, companies began to use PACC more as a public relations and lobbying tool. Eventually, companies who once had strongly supported PACC's altruistic, rather academic, socio-economic goals realized that PNWER's industry-government mix was a better vehicle for enhancing their corporate positions, especially in relation to government policies and contracts. At the same time both industry and government PACC members (PNWER did not encourage university participation) began to view academics more as street beggars always looking for a hand-out than profitable partners. Consequently, PACC merged with PNWER and became the core of that organization's telecommunications working group.

As these organizational changes took place, TAP began to be seen not as graduate-level intellectual exchange among telematics experts in government, academe, and industry but, instead, as a vehicle for training lower-level personnel to better perform the routine functions of companies. For most of PACC's university members, "training" was a dirty word and a function better left to non-university institutions. Training connoted rote memorization of routine information rather than cultivation of understanding and independent thinking. This view prevailed on most campuses.

Campus politics intervened

The TAP effort required co-operation among nine state and provincial universities4 with no initial funding to smooth the process. Aside from the sheer complexity of how to co-operate in terms of assigned credit, conferred degrees, hired faculty, and so forth, a more fundamental problem appeared. In 1996-97 some of the PACC campuses remained unsold on the idea of electronic distance education, nor did they know how to set it up and fund it. In many of the universities a vocal contingent of faculty members distrusted both telematics technology and big business. These people saw distance education as the enemy of their concept of liberal education and even the traditions of professorship. The latter belief was fed by the growing number of "adjunct" faculty hired on a class-by-class or temporary contract basis. Faculty could foresee a time when each of them would be hired on a class-by-class basis to teach distance education in large lecture courses. Even though TAP originally hoped to preserve the traditionally interactive seminar style of education, as opposed to the large-lecture method, faculty members continued to see any programs that either served industry or used telematics as totally alien to quality education and as a step down the road to complete outsourcing of classes.

This feeling of technologically induced doom dovetailed with the fact that only one or two telematics professors existed on most campuses, one of the reasons why PACC faculty members desired a meta-university program which would afford them constant close contact with similar faculty all over the world as they worked to build what they thought of as the ideal telematics graduate program. They saw Internet technology not as an abandonment of traditional graduate education, but as an enhancement. Indeed TAP had been cast as a graduate rather than undergraduate program specifically because PACC university members felt that a graduate program could demonstrate that electronic distance education, especially when conducted via the expected interactive-video capabilities of the Internet, could effectively reproduce the give-and-take of on-campus graduate seminars, thus establishing that technology was not to blame for inferior quality education. The real threat was large lecture classes, no matter how they were "delivered," in person or via electronic systems.

Given the distance education debate as well as increasingly tight budgets, some administrations, often made up of people protective of on-campus traditions, were unwilling to put money into distance education programs. Many existing programs were expected to be completely self-supporting and were tolerated only as a way to bring additional students and money into universities. This entrepreneurial attitude rendered the TAP seminar style, which would lack a high student-professor ratio, financially unacceptable. Distance education, as a cash cow, relies upon adding distant bodies to on-campus large-lecture classes, thus substantiating critics' suspicions that distance education erodes the quality, indeed changes the questioning nature, of liberal education.

Decreased funding

Many universities were not about to accept TAP unless it was going to bring money to the campuses. And many companies were more interested in training than knowledge. At the same time U.S. government funding for public-interest projects dwindled (although Canadian federal and provincial governments have continued to be forthcoming). For example, PACC had built a close relationship with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as both organizations worked to set up an information program. Congress cut NIST's funding and the program was abandoned.

Private grants were still available for distance education, especially from the Sloan Foundation. Sloan supported the Western Governors University, an Internet-based institution, as well as other asynchronous distance education programs around the U.S.5 PACC worked with a Sloan program manager who was attracted initially by PACC's unique academe/government/industry co-operative structure. However, after Sloan supported the TAP November 1996 conference, PACC was too slow in putting together its curriculum and subsequent proposal. By the time PACC submitted its TAP proposal in June of 1997, the Sloan Foundation had funded an all-university distance education conversion by a large mid-western university, thus depleting the program's resources. Furthermore, the Foundation had decided that asynchronous distance education programs were so well established throughout the U.S. that Sloan should pursue other interests. The program manager additionally commented that PACC institutions appeared unwilling to put much of their own money into such an endeavour, a fact that belied real member interest in TAP.

The Western Governors University fragmented efforts

The virtual Western Governors University (WGU), backed by powerful political and industrial interests (including the Sloan Foundation) to the tune of $13 million for its first year of operation, was being constructed at the same time as TAP. WGU now offers distant education courses delivered via the post office as well as the Internet (see URL: http://www.wgu.edu). It does not originate courses but instead brokers offerings from community colleges, colleges and universities, and commercial providers. Only three of the nine PACC institutions provide courses for the WGU.6 One reason that some Western universities choose not to participate in WGU may be that the institution emphasizes competency-based education. According to the WGU Web site information for potential students,

The benefit of this competency-based system is that it makes it possible for you--if you are already knowledgeable about a particular subject--to make progress toward completing a WGU degree even if you lack college experience. WGU recognizes that you may have gained skills and knowledge on the job, through years of life experience, or by taking a course on a particular subject. This competency-based system does not use credits in awarding degrees. Instead, students demonstrate their knowledge or skills through assessments. (URL: http://www.wgu.edu)

Both the competency emphasis plus the idea of "brokered" existing courses indicates that WGU education depends more upon the memorization and testing of a body of material than the development of critical thinking skills. Most academic PACC members do not agree with this method of education and believe that it plays into the fears of faculty members who see distance education as an extension of "industrial-era" education rather than an opportunity to offer more people better, "information-age" education throughout their lifetimes.

The competency emphasis arose because of the opinion held by some Western governors that their state universities were not adequately serving certain types of students. Other governors were more interested in creating a mechanism for listing distance courses offered by their state higher education institutions. Joseph Hart, Director of Distance Learning at Eastern Oregon University (a pilot provider for the WGU), believes that these conflicting interests caused the WGU to take on too much at once (personal communication, July 22, 1999). A compounding factor proved to be the fledgling institution's affiliation with the U.S. Open University, a liaison that required more resources than the WGU could spare and one that has yet to be satisfactorily solidified.

The result is that the institution has problems, not the least of which is a reportedly very low enrolment, 115 to 120 students, a figure obtained by the Associated Press through a Government Records Access and Management Act request because the WGU refused to give out enrolment figures (Gehrke, 1999). Hart posits that one reason that students may not be signing up for WGU courses is that they can go straight to the provider institutions for these offerings and avoid paying WGU charges. Hart thinks that the WGU is considering either getting out of the registration business and providing only a simple list of courses or narrowing its number of courses to only those that tie directly to its competency-based degrees. One year after beginning operation WGU's degrees remain unaccredited, a further disincentive to prospective students seeking a substitute for campus-based degree programs.

In contrast to the WGU's competency-based approach, TAP proposed that new telematics technologies can facilitate small, highly interactive seminars in which students acquire both background knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary for continuing absorption, analysis, and application of rapidly changing and expanding information in the new era. This model was popular among the earlier, more idealistic industrial representatives in PACC but not with those who joined the organization later and who championed their companies' need to become leaner and meaner competitors. These executives were less concerned with their own continuing education than with the efficient training of lower-ranking company personnel. The WGU, as a "convenience" provider, is geared to serve company training concerns and, depending upon enrolment increases, may make money for course providers. But the WGU will not engender the kind of innovative thinking that characterized the old Bell Laboratories or established Silicon Valley. Undoubtedly the "brand name" universities will continue to provide such stimulation but the role of the "mass providers" remains ambiguous. Those individuals and institutions who supported the TAP proposal would like to see mass providers use new technologies not for training but for expanding minds.

Philosophical differences among institutions certainly are important factors in co-operative efforts such as the WGU and TAP. The need for dollars exacerbates the situation as those institutions compete more stridently. California did not join the WGU initiative but instead spent several million dollars trying to set up its own virtual clearinghouse for state-generated distance education courses. According to Hart, this effort floundered because the project co-ordinators could not sustain co-operation among its institutions. The TAP project tried to avoid this problem by dealing directly with telematics faculty rather than institutional administrations. The faculty wanted the program because of their own intellectual interests rather than because of its money-making potential. Only one scheduled course teacher even raised the question of compensation for taking on a course. But this approach also contributed to the project's downfall. Faculty have little political and no economic power. Administrations do.

Existing technology was inadequate

One reason that the TAP proposal may not have appealed to Sloan as much as some others is that TAP really was not intended as an asynchronous network. Because materials and printed versions of discussions would be utilized, the proposal squeaked by this requirement for funding consideration. Primarily, however, TAP advocated real-time videoconference discussions as the technological core of the program. Right now telematics technology is really not good enough to do what TAP envisioned. Internet collaboration is still at a primitive stage. Faculty members who deride distant education as an educational disaster have direct observation on their side. Most distant applications fall into two camps: routine delivery of individual to-be-memorized print-based lessons or distant delivery of standard lectures via videotape or closed network. Both provide little student interactivity or creativity. PACC believed that video seminars are necessary to place distance education on par with campus-based classes. We had experimental evidence to support this contention.

In the early 1990s PACC members experimented with a number of interactive distant-seminar technologies. Some involved class-to-class video sessions where participants had to go to central sites set up with video equipment. While these meetings proved entertaining, they were inconvenient in terms of location and time schedules. Classes involved more fiddling with equipment than topic discussion. A second type of experiment involved distant collaboration via the Internet. Most notable among these was several years devoted to joint teaching of a course between the University of Wollongong in Australia and the University of Oregon in the U.S. Students in both locations read the same materials, used the same Web site, and collaborated on projects. The experiment sounds much better in theory than it was in reality. Most of each term was devoted to getting students connected to the Internet and teaching them the necessary skills to work together on-line. Again, the machinery got most of the attention.

A third experiment was much more successful and serves as the model for what TAP participants envision as excellent interactive technology, although even it was flawed to a small degree by mechanical problems. US West enabled PACC members at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Portland State University to join together with some industrial and government participants and conduct a "course" over the Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO). NERO is an optical fibre network that connects institutions in Oregon's Willamette Valley. US West provided an ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) switch, capable of high speed switching of large data streams, for the purposes of the experiment. The company also provided computer-based videoconferencing equipment, software, and engineers for each location. Twelve people participated, four in each of three locations, and were pictured in six video boxes (two people on each of six computers) along the left-hand side of each computer screen. The remainder of the screen was used as a shared white board or display screen for materials.

When participants agreed to join this experiment, most believed that videoconferencing was unnecessary for a successful Internet-based course. After the first session they unanimously agreed that video was essential for distance collaboration. Once each session was underway people forgot they were seeing each other on a computer screen and the interaction, rather than being marred by the technical interface, was enhanced by it. Learning to share the white board depended upon working out some rules for who could use the computer cursor when; otherwise, several people ended up writing on top of each other's work. Participants also learned to hold up hands to indicate they wanted to talk over the network and to not talk to their partners at their locations because of the background noise such conversations generated. Once these few rules were established, distractions were minimized and concentration maximized to a greater degree than in an ordinary "real" classroom. Furthermore, even though most of participants had never met each other as "real" persons, they quickly saw each other as friends rather than just colleagues and enthusiastically greeted each person as he or she "came up" on the screen each day. This experiment was only slightly marred by occasional video break-up that occurred when NERO became overloaded with traffic. The fact that engineers were present at each location greatly reduced technological problems.

Of course the catch with the NERO experiment was that it was an experiment. The technology was not available for public use. It still is not. Intel already had developed a quite slick computer-based videoconferencing system called ProShare at the time of our NERO experience.7 But despite the efforts of Intel, the Oregon Public Utility Commission, and an enthusiastic bunch of user representatives, US West, which serves most of PACC's Northwest U.S. area, could not be persuaded to make ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) service publicly available. ProShare needs ISDN, which doubles the bandwidth offered by an ordinary telephone line, in order to operate as a videoconferencing system. US West believed that ISDN would soon be superseded by different technologies and thus the company was unwilling to put money into the service. Since that time, the company has become a leader in ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) service which also increases the bandwidth of ordinary telephone lines. Intel has just announced that it will begin making DSL modems (25 times faster than the fastest analog modems) in partnership with Cisco (Intel, 1999). DSL modems will facilitate Intel's new home videoconferencing counterpart to ProShare, the Create & Share Camera Pack, priced from U.S.$69 to $154.8

The movement toward wider band Internet access, which is necessary for quality videoconferencing, is marching forward on other fronts too. AT&T's recent cable television purchases and agreements will enable that company to begin offering even wider band Internet access via cable modems in the next few years. In areas where AT&T does not have a cable partner, the company will be able to provide wider band fixed wireless access to the Internet. Another promising fixed wireless system is the proposed Teledesic system, a joint low-earth-orbit satellite venture of Craig McCaw (founder of McCaw Cellular, now AT&T Wireless), Bill Gates, Boeing, and Motorola, which aims to provide wideband Internet access anywhere on Earth within the next decade. Thus, inexpensive, good-quality videoconferencing should be available to educators and students in the very near future.

Conclusion

The Sloan refusal to fund TAP may have been fortunate. Much doubt existed by summer 1997 that companies were any longer interested in TAP or PACC. PACC, recast as the PNWER telecommunications working group, now exists mainly as a lobby vehicle. Universities have been sidelined from the organization, an ominous sign that they may be becoming less and less relevant, at least to the immediate interests of industry and government. The "mass producer" universities remain in a crisis state as they enter the information era. They no longer can conduct business as usual and they do not wish to become "convenience" educators. Hopefully, they can persuade companies that their long-term interest lies not in rote-memorization training courses but, rather, in critical thinking skills engendered by highly interactive small classes. In any event, a large body of untapped students waits quietly outside the campus walls. Quality education at a distance is at last technologically possible and it promises to be an intellectually rewarding as well as profitable supplement to campus-based education--if universities remove their Luddite blinders, resist money-grubbing, extended, large-lecture applications, and welcome all those new interactive students who will be lifelong participants in video seminars.

Notes

1
Original members of the PACC Executive Board were: Norman Abramson (Professor Electrical Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Hawaii), Bob Anderson (Manager of Network Engineering, BC Tel Mobility Cellular), Steven Carter (Professor of Radiology, University of Washington School of Medicine), James Elias (Executive Director, Technology Assessment, US West), Nicolaus Kauser (Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, McCaw Cellular), Chuck Lenard (Vice President and CEO Oregon, US West), Bill J. Luce Jr. (Manager, Regulatory and Industry Affairs, GTE Northwest), Peter Mackie (President, Seaquest Software), Douglas Reudink (Director,Wireless Planning, US West New Vector Group), Deanna Robinson (Professor of Telecommunications, University of Oregon), Colin Sorhus (Research Officer, Oregon State University), Tran Thong (Vice President Research and Engineering, Tektronix Federal Systems), and R. D. Williams (Northern Telecom).
2
PACC's goals were to (1) facilitate rapid development of advanced telematics infrastructure (especially in rural areas), (2) promote equitable access to telematics facilities and services, (3) act as a catalyst for telematics industry growth, (4) formulate centrally co-ordinated economic and telecommunications development strategies, (5) conduct mutually useful research, and (6) sponsor broad-based telematics education programs.
3
For more information, see URL: http://www.pnwer.org/working%20groups/telecomm-main.htm.
4
These were the Universities of Alaska, Alberta, Calgary, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, plus Oregon State, Portland State, and Washington State Universities.
5
For an explanation of asynchronous learning networks, see URL: http://www.aln.org/sloan_aln/index.htm.
6
WGU educational providers include Bellevue Community College, Brigham Young University, Chadron State College, City University, Colorado Electronic Community College, Community College of Southern Nevada, Dallas County Community College District, Eastern New Mexico University, Eastern Oregon University, FundWell.com, ITP/Course Technology, Marylhurst University, Montana State University--Bozeman, North Dakota State College of Science, Northern Arizona University, Novell, Oklahoma State University, Old Dominion University, Regis University, Rio Salado College, Texas Tech University, University Access, University of Alaska Learning Cooperative, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Guam, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, University of Nebraska--Lincoln, University of Wyoming, Utah State University, Washington State University, Western Governors University.
7
For more information on distance learning applications, see URL: http://www.intel.com/proshare/dist_learn.htm.
8
For more information on this technology, see URL: http://www.intel.com/createshare/crshare.htm.

Appendix A:Initial TAP Curriculum

Title of course Institution
1. Telematics Economics University of Canberra, Australia
2. The Economics of Telematics Regulation University of Hawaii
3. Innovation from an Information Perspective University of Wollongong, Australia
4. Global Economic and Telematics Development East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Cultural Industries in a Global Economy University of Alberta
6-8. Special Topics in Telematics Economics:
(e.g., Global Issues in Telematics Economics Sheffield University, UK
Telematics in Developing Countries Bordeaux University, France
Entrepreneurship and Regional Development University of Dublin, Ireland
The Australian Telematics Industry University of Queensland, Australia
The New Zealand Telematics Environment Massey University, New Zealand
Telephone Companies and the Internet)
9. Capital Expenditure Decisions University of Alberta
10. Pricing Decisions and Issues University of Alberta
11. Communications Economics University of Alberta
12. International Business Strategies:
(e.g., Emerging Markets of Southeast Asia University of Oregon
Leadership) University of Oregon
13. Telematics Contracts Communication Attorney, Portland, OR
14. Managing Innovation Simon Fraser University
15. Information Management Seminar University of Alberta
16. Telecommunications for the Business User Syntagma Research Associates
17. International Telecommunications Policy Issues University of Wollongong, Australia
18. Communication Regulation Theories and Issues University of Calgary
19. Telecommunications Regulation and Rural Economic Development Issues Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
20. Power and Telecommunication Regulatory Issues Communications Attorney, Portland, OR
21. Communication to Mitigate Disasters Simon Fraser University
22. Legal Aspects of U.S. Electronic Communications Washington State Department of Information Services
23. U.S. Telematics Policy and Regulation University of Washington & University of Oregon
24. Telecommunications Policy in Australia University of Wollongong, Australia
25. Standards Setting Organizations Pennsylvania State University & University of Oregon
26. Topics in U.S. Policy and Regulation: (e.g., Evolving Interconnection Law, Local vs. National Regulatory Power) AT&T Wireless
27-28. Topics in Internet Law and Regulation: (e.g., Digital Signatures, Intellectual Property Protection on the Internet, Internet Privacy and Security Issues)
29. Internet Marketing University of Alberta
30. Social Impacts of Communication and Information Technologies University of Calgary
31. Languages for Global Entrepreneurs
(e.g., Basic Chinese Language and Culture TAP
Basic Japanese Language and Culture) The Knowledge Network
32. Telecommunications Technologies US Integrated Optics/US West
33. Telecommunications for the Business User Syntagma Research Associates
34. Project Management University of Alaska
35. Multiple Access Technologies Aloha Networks
36. Topics in Image Processing:
(e.g., Introductory Image Processing Portland State University
Image and Video Compression Portland State University
Advanced Image Processing) Portland State University
37. Signal Processing Micro Systems Engineering Inc.
38. Networks Washington State University
39. Data Networks Aloha Networks
40. Database Systems University of Alaska
41. Distributed Databases Washington State University
42. Designing and Managing a Company Network Boeing
43. Communication System Design Portland State University
44. Wireless Personal Telecommunication Systems University of British Columbia
45-46. Internet Technology Topics:
(e.g., Using the Internet to do Business University of Oregon
Synchronous Groupware Washington State University
Asynchronous Groupware Washington State University
Multimedia on the Network) Washington State University
47-49. Advanced Internet Topics:
(e.g., M-Bone Technology and Applications University of Oregon
Internet II University of Washington
Network Policy for an Enterprise University of Oregon
Building Internet Applications from Components University of Oregon
Use of Push Technology in an Organization) University of Oregon
50. Telematics Industry Standards

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