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Superhighway Summit

The Superhighway Summit was held at the University of California, Los Angeles's Royce Hall on 11 January 1994. It was the "first public conference bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field [and] also began the national dialogue about the Information Superhighway and its implications." The conference was organized by Richard Frank of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Jeffrey Cole and Geoffrey Cowan, the former co-directors of UCLA's Center for Communication Policy. It was introduced by former UCLA Chancellor, Andrea L. Rich and its keynote speaker was Vice President Al Gore.

Who were the Thirty leaders in the area of communications presided over the event which had an attendance of over 1800 people? It "was broadcast live on C-SPAN, E! Entertainment, and on the UCLA campus."

The conference was given extensive coverage by Cynthia Lee and Linda Steiner Lee over two issues of UCLA TODAY (January 13 and 27, 1994). In the article, Gore Details Telecommunications Ideas, Lee and Lee gave an overview of the opening speech given by Vice President Gore. They commented that "Vice President Al Gore outlined the Clinton Administration's proposals to reform the communications marketplace and challenged his audience to provide links from the so-called information superhighway to every classroom, library, hospital, and clinic in the country by the year 2000 [...] 'We have a dream information superhighway that can save lives, create jobs and give every American, young and old, the chance for the best education available to anyone, anywhere,' Gore said." During his talk, "Ernestine" (the fictional telephone operator created by Lily Tomlin for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) made a surprise appearance. She complained "about the confusing and rapid transformation of communications technology. The Vice president laughingly assured Ernestine that the new technology would be simple to understand and available to all Americans."

  • Lee, Cynthia and Linda Steiner Lee. Gore Details Telecommunications Ideas. UCLA TODAY, Vol. 14, #9, January 13, 1994:1, 4.
  • Lee, Cynthia. CEO's Ponder Direction of Information Superhighway. UCLA TODAY, Vol. 14, #19, January 27, 1994: 4.


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