To the Editor:

Sept. 1, 1996

To the Editor:

I would like to compliment you on the June issue of Lightwave, which confronts the changing technology head-on. Dave Powell`s article, "CTI technology calls on fiber" (see page 1) prompted me to write about our experience in Austin, TX.

Taking data and information and turning it into knowledge is one of the most critical challenges facing communities today. In a move to keep Austin`s communications policy proactive, Austin/Travis County and the State of Texas recently joined forces to ensure that all citizens will have access to the National Information Infrastructure.

Construction has begun on a fiber-optic cable network that will link virtually every local and state government office in Austin. The $15-million Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network, to be completed by the end of 1996, will provide telephone, data and video services for the Austin Independent School District, Austin Community College, the City of Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority, Travis County, the State of Texas and the University of Texas at Austin.

The 285 miles of cable that will connect more than 300 public facilities will be the largest cooperative telecommunications system in the nation. More important, Austin students will be able to use the network for everything from communication with electronic pen pals around the world to accessing library materials located across town.

Technology is a gateway not only to the future but also to the past.

Jimmy A. Castro

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce

Austin, TX

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