Al Gore Speech on Building the Global Information Infrastructure

                       THE WHITE HOUSE
   For Immediate Release                     September 22, 1994

                     Remarks (as delivered) by
                      Vice President Al Gore
                       via satellite to the
               International Telecommunication Union
                    Plenipotentiary Conference
                           Kyoto, Japan

        Dr. Tarjanne, Mr. Utsumi, distinguished ministers and
   delegates, ladies and gentlemen:

        When I last spoke to the ITU in March, I traveled 8,000
   kilometers from the White House to Buenos Aires.  Today, I
   am traveling an even greater distance by way of satellite.

        This is, of course, no substitute for being there in
   person, sharing with you Kyoto's 1200th birthday and the
   beauty of the city's palaces, temples and gardens.  It's
   been said that Kyoto embodies the spirit of old Japan, where
   ancient arts and crafts -- textile weaving, ceramics, and
   Kimono -- live on.  But it is also a city that is looking to
   the future.  And it is appropriate that I'm able to send my
   message to you today in this way, simultaneously showing the
   promise of technology and the Global Information
   Infrastructure, or GII.

         The effort to build the GII provides us with an
   opportunity to reach beyond ideology to forge a common goal
   of providing an infrastructure that will benefit all the
   citizens of our nations.  We will use this infrastructure to
   help our respective economies and to promote health,
   education, environmental protection and democracy.

        Government has an indisputable and appropriate role to
   play in developing the GII.  By reducing regulatory barriers
   and promoting private sector involvement, by identifying the
   public interests that must be served, and by aggressively
   using the GII to provide education, health care and other
   public services, governments can play a key role in
   developing the GII in cooperation with industry and others
   in the private sector.

        In Buenos Aires, you adopted five principles for a GII
   which the nations of the world have been putting into
   practice:  Private investment.  Market-driven competition.
   Flexible regulatory systems.  Non-discriminatory access.
   And universal service.

        On every continent, you can see these principles in

             In Pakistan, the government is selling shares to
        the public of the Pakistan Telecommunications
        Corporation, thereby promoting private investment and
        contributing to economic growth.

             In the Russian Federation, there are now 80
        privatized telecom companies operating in that
        country's 86 regions.  And there are another 26
        independent operators providing international telephone
        and data transmission services.  This not only serves
        the goals of investment and competition, but also
        improves access to information services and promotes
        the lifeblood of democracy -- freedom of communication.

             More competition is now possible in the
        Philippines as a result of broadened access to
        international communications satellites.

              In the Americas, CITEL is implementing the
        Acapulco Declaration  to promote telecommunications and
        contribute to the overall development of the region.

             Chile has implemented a regulatory framework to
        encourage private investment, promote competition, and
        protect against monopoly.  The telecommunications
        ministry there expects these reforms to increase
        service from 7 lines per 100 people in 1987 to more
        than 20 lines per 100 people.

             Mexico is gaining access to new technologies and
        attracting substantial new foreign investment by
        protecting intellectual property rights.

        On other continents, regulatory reform and increases in
   the number of service providers are increasing access to,
   and the value of, the telecommunications infrastructure.

             For instance, Tanzania is establishing a
        regulatory body independent of the communications

             Australia has amended its telecommunications act
        to allow carriers to provide flexible pricing packages
        to consumers.

             China has established China Unicom, a second
        telecom network that will provide new services and
        increased access to communications networks.

             The African Green Paper provides technical advice
        and policy guidance for improving telecommunications.

        These are only a few specific examples of a powerful,
   worldwide trend in implementing each of the five principles.

        Industry's contributions have been equally important to
   promoting these principles and creating a GII.  Daily we
   read stories of new investments, new products, new leaps
   into the future of telecommunications at a cost to industry
   of billions of dollars.  Clearly industry believes there is
   a big future for the GII.

        The U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute, formed
   as a result of the 1982 Nairobi Plenipot, now offers courses
   on mobile communications in Spanish and English on wireless
   communications and spectrum management and on
   telecommunications planning and economic decision-making.

        U.S. companies are also providing needed expertise
   directly to countries that need it most.

             One U.S. company offers a seminar to developing
        nations on effective spectrum management practices.

             Another recently provided technical and managerial
        expertise to managers at Telmex to facilitate
        privatization in Mexico.

             And yet another sponsors Master's degree-level
        Chinese students to attend the University of Michigan
        for an executive training program.

        But as promising as these developments are, we cannot
   afford to be complacent and assume that this revolution will
   produce all the benefits we desire without diligent effort.

        For our part, the United States is willing to
   demonstrate its commitment by broadening our efforts in
   regulatory and technical cooperation.  For governments
   examining their legal, regulatory, institutional and
   economic frameworks that affect telecommunications, we stand
   ready to offer our experience and learning.

        To make the GII a reality, it will take the combined
   efforts of every member nation of the ITU -- and of
   businesses and consumers in all of our nations.

        Our businesses and our citizens are demanding advanced
   information technology so that local businesses can succeed
   in worldwide competition; so that electronic commerce can
   bring customers and suppliers closer together; so that
   citizens can be educated.  This demand cannot be ignored.
   Rather, it is our duty to open markets, so that competition
   can meet this growing and evolving demand.

        In the coming months, we will have several other
   opportunities to work together to create a GII.

             Members of APEC and the OECD will gather in
        Vancouver in February to address the cross-border
        issues affecting the development of a GII.

             At the Summit of the Americas in Miami in
        December, Western Hemisphere leaders will have the
        opportunity to focus on telecommunications and
        information infrastructure issues.

             The European Union will host the G-7 Ministers
        next year in Brussels.  This conference will also
        address common issues in developing national and global
        information infrastructures.

        All of these meetings will provide opportunities for
   the nations of the world to come together to reach our goal
   of creating a GII.

        We must work together to create incentives for and to
   involve all sectors of society,   from telecommunications to
   information technology, from R&D facilities to libraries,
   and from the medical community to the world of the arts.  We
   all have a stake in the future of the Global Information
   Infrastructure, so we all must work together to make it a

        And we must work together as governments to redefine
   our roles in the telecommunications industry -- new and
   innovative roles as facilitators of private investment and
   competition, guardians of the public interest, and champions
   of the free flow of information.

        When we meet again at the Plenipotentiary in 1998, we
   will have an opportunity to reflect on our progress in the
   interim years and to renew our commitment to this important

        That is why I am extremely pleased this morning -- this
   morning in Kyoto -- to invite the next Plenipotentiary
   Conference of the ITU to be held in the United States.  It
   would be a great privilege and honor for us to host you in
   our nation.

        When the Plenipotentiary was last held in the United
   States, it was 1947.

        It was a year of great political change -- the Marshall
   Plan -- the transition to the post-World War II world.  It
   was also the year that inventors at Bell Laboratories in New
   Jersey invented the transistor, which made possible the
   development of products from the transistor radio to the
   home computer, all at a cost which made them available to
   the mass market.

        And what do we see occurring by 1998?

        We see the establishment of myriad networks around the
   globe through which technology is harnessed to create a vast
   flow of data and information that will enable and support
   applications that serve people in all aspects of their daily

        One speaker at a recent Internet Society meeting
   marveled at the inexorable growth of the global
   telecommunications network.  As an example he pointed to one
   of the many services available over the Internet -- the
   World Wide Web. "We are now watching a global
   internetworking revolution scale in near real-time," he
   said.  "Every thirty minutes, another network connects."

        Well, these networks of the GII will not be ends in
   themselves.  The benefits that will come from the use of
   these networks will be what is important.

        It is my fervent hope that when we reassemble in the
   United States at the next Plenipotentiary Conference in four
   years, our common journey toward a Global Information
   Infrastructure will have advanced many light years.

        As we welcome the nations of the ITU to our country in
   four years, so we welcome the challenge of working with you
   to help construct the Global Information Infrastructure, one
   that advances the well-being of all humankind.

        Congratulations on the work you have under way.
        We look forward to seeing you here in four years.