• Michael Carlowicz


Every American grade school and library ought to have free access to the Internet, and universities and institutions ought to have better access, according to the Clinton Administration.

In an October 10 speech in Knoxville, Tennessee, President Clinton proposed that all of the nation's 100,000 public schools and 9,000 libraries receive a two-tiered E-rate (education rate) for access to Internet services. All schools and libraries should receive basic connections for free, as well as deep discounts on video conferencing and highspeed connections (with prices influenced by how much the school can afford to pay). The basic connections (and part of the cost of the more sophisticated connections) would be paid from a special federal fund that currently provides below-cost phone service to households in poor and rural areas. That fund is currently drawn from fees assessed on local and long-distance telephone providers; the Clinton Administration would have cable operators and cellular service providers contribute as well. Companies that provide Internet services would be paid at the best available commercial rate.