In intergovernmental nets, ICN leads pack

The dream to build intergovernmental computer networks that link state, local and federal computer systems is taking shape in fits and starts. The Iowa Communications Network, however, is one of a few early successes.

ICN provides two-way interactive video transmissions, data transport and long-distance voice communications to rural areas. It delivers teleservices to residents, including telemedicine and "telejustice" - a system in which a parole board can conduct parole hearings over long-distance networks.

At least 157 video sites throughout Iowa link into ICN. The Iowa state government plans to add at least 482 more sites in the future. Other organizations and agencies, including the National Guard, federal agencies and hospitals, will add about 100 additional sites.

For more information, contact ICN on the World Wide Web at http://www.icn.state.ia.us.

Visit the Year 2000 Now

For some federal information technology specialists, judgment day will come in the wee hours of Jan. 1, 2000. In preparation, the General Services Administration has come out with a Year 2000 Information Directory Home Page. Anyone losing sleep about 2000 can access the site anytime; it's open 24 hours a day on the Web. To get there, point your browser to http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov. Select "Year 2000 Information Directory."

Voicing Opinions Now

Worried that voice communications sent over the Internet could pose disastrous threats to profit margins, the America's Carriers Telecommunication Association in March sent a petition to the Federal Communications Commission addressing the issue of Internet phone service. The Federal Networking Council has sent its opinion to the FCC, explaining its stand on the issue and its opinion about ACTA's petition. You can read the letter at http://www.fnc.gov/acta.html.

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