Global Access Project
A joint presentation with the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC)

Thursday, 2 December 2004 • 16:00 – 17:30

Robert Walp, GCI, USA
Abstract: Global Access Project
In this era of advanced telecommunications, many people have limited, if any, access to adequate services. Although the essential importance of communicating is universally acknowledged, global development has been skewed toward the affluent regions. This session will explore ways to develop service in less served areas, with emphasis on the concept of supporting sustainable services through financial contributions from existing telecommunications systems, as suggested 20 year ago in the "Maitland Report."* Despite many years of study and discussion, concerted action to eliminate the "Digital Divide" has not evolved. The Global Access Project aims to stimulate action and is exploring strategies and means for implementing a subsidy that is internal to the telecommunications sector and will stimulate local organizations to construct their own facilities.   Although this concept is not unprecedented, it presents problems that require not only engineering work but also economic, regulatory and political effort, plus considerable ingenuity and perseverance.  

Instead of making individual presentations the panelists will spend most of their time discussing pertinent issues according to an agenda prepared in advance and available to the audience. They will review the concept, define obstacles to its implementation and explore solutions, drawing examples from established and planned systems. The panelists have extensive experience in implementing and upgrading telecommunications services in underdeveloped areas. The audience will have opportunities to participate in the discussion.

* THE MISSING LINK: Report of the Independent Commission for World-Wide    Telecommunications Development, Chairman: Sir Donald Maitland, December 1984, International Telecommunication Union.

Bio: Mr. Walp pioneered the use of satellite telecommunication for less-developed regions while at Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1960s. This brought him to Alaska in the early '70s as a consultant on a NASA project he initiated to demonstrate telephone and television services in medicine and education. He helped guide the development of commercial satellite communications in Alaska, first as a consultant to the Governor's Office of Telecommunications and later, as Director of that office, after appointment by Governor Hammond in 1975. In 1979 Mr. Walp founded GCI (General Communication, Inc.) with the help of other Alaskans and, as President, guided its growth as a competitive interexchange telecommunication carrier until he "retired" in 1990. GCI has become the major supplier of telecommunication services in Alaska. He is Chairman Emeritus and still active in company affairs. Mr. Walp was a member of the Alaska State Board of Education and has been on the boards of several educational, tele-communication and other organizations. He was chairman of the Visual Arts Center of Alaska and is a member of the board of directors of the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA). He was a founding member of the PTC (the Pacific Telecommunications Council) and was Conference Chairman for two PTC annual conferences held in Honolulu, January 1998 and 1999. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and was General Chairman of ICC 2003, the International Conference on Communications, held in Anchorage, Alaska, in May 2003. Mr. Walp attended MIT and the California Institute of Technology. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from Caltech in 1951 and 1953, respectively.

Speaker: Martin Cary, Vice President, GCI, USA

Bio: Martin Cary
is Vice President of Broadband Services for GCI and is responsible for all GCI educational, health and rural initiatives delivered over a broadband satellite infrastructure. Before joining General Communication, Martin was Senior Partner of Astrolabe Systems, Inc., a technology management-consulting firm acquired by GCI in 1997, where he provided strategic planning and developed managed programs to serve rural education and health organizations. Prior to Astrolabe Systems, for nearly a decade, Martin was the Director of Information and Technology for the North Slope Borough School District, successfully managing numerous multi-million dollar projects, including the design, installation and facilitation of the school district's multi-media wide area and telecommunications network, data processing systems and award winning distance learning program.

Speaker: Ronald G. Choura, Michigan State University, USA

Active in the government and telecommunications industry for more than 32 years, currently holds the position of State Executive with the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Public Service Commission, Communications Division and Adjunct Faculty at Michigan State University, Department of Telecommunications. Have management responsibilities for telecommunications matters as they relate to more than 1400 regulated communications carriers, providing telecommunications services to the domestic market and training students in Telecommunications Network Management. Currently the project coordinator for the MSU MSITE Project to bring economical telecommunications broadband services to unserved areas. Employed by the State of Michigan since 1973. The current position is Supervisor Service Quality,   Communications Division, with the Michigan Public Service Commission. Responsibilities include   telecommunications matters, manager of the E-Mail/WEB system that is provided internationally to the regulatory community, manage the office automation project for tracking customer contacts/ tracking of legislative, congressional and federal agency matters and have served on national committees which interface with the other state jurisdictions and the federal government. Professional Affiliations: IEEE Member since 1968, Past Vice Chairman of NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Communications, Past Staff Chair of the Federal State Joint Boards (the first joint board setting up the universal service fund), Federal State Joint Conference, Past Chair of the NARUC Cost Allocations Subcommittee, Registered Professional Engineer, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Professor at Michigan State University, member of the Independent Telephone Pioneers Association, Past Board Member on The Children's Network, and   Past Director of the Governors Telecommunications Task Force.

Speaker: Anthony C Gardiner, Kensar Telecommunications, Canada

Bio: With over 35 years experience in the telecommunications industry, and co-founder of one of Canada's largest telecommunications consulting firms, Tony Gardiner is a recognized and respected leader in the telecommunications community. He has spent a significant amount of time working with developing nations around the world in the formation and amelioration of communications infrastructures. In all, he has completed developmental projects in over 30 countries and worked with many client-organizations including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. Internationally, Mr. Gardiner has worked with various Government Ministries including Planning, Finance and Communications Departments, completing feasibility studies, technology assessments, system designs, sector reform studies and economic analyses for major telecommunications projects. In Canada, Mr. Gardiner has worked extensively with Canada's government telecommunications agencies and industry including the Industry Canada, CRTC, Export Development Corporation (EDC), Telesat and Teleglobe to name a few. He has developed a strong knowledge of Canada's telecommunications policy and regulatory framework and has appeared before the CRTC on numerous occasions to represent Teleconsult clients. A specialist in wireless systems engineering, Mr. Gardiner was responsible for developing Teleconsult's expertise in the design of AM, FM, TV and cablevision systems, ranging from the design of a 50,000 watt, 7 tower array operating on 1040 kHz in Vancouver, BC through the design and preparation of regulatory briefs for cablevision systems for cities in the interior of British Columbia. He has also been lead project manager for a large number of conventional mobile, trunked mobile, cellular, microwave, optical fibre and satellite transmission systems for power, telephone and transportation utilities. More recently he became the firm's lead specialist in LMCS and LMDS systems providing broadband digital and bi-directional wireless local loops to residential and business subscribers.

During much of 1996 Mr. Gardiner spent a significant amount of time preparing for the merger of Teleconsult Limited with the Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group. On December 31, 1999 the merger was realized and Mr. Gardiner resumed with his own company, Kensar Telecommunications Ltd. Recent clients include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency and broadcasters in Western Canada.

Speaker: Paul M. Hartman, Allband Communications Cooperative, USA

For 13 years Paul worked for the Bell System in such areas as jurisdictional separations and Division of Revenues before starting Hartman Associates in 1985. For the next 14 years, Paul taught classes on telecommunications primarily in the areas of jurisdictional separations, settlements, access charges and related issues for the various major stakeholders. He was the Chair of the Executive Committee for the Implementation of Local Telecommunications in the State of Indiana. He also was the arbitrator on the interconnection agreement per the 1996 Telecommunications Act between NYNEX and AT&T in New Hampshire as well as on the "non-common" issues in the interconnection agreements between NYNEX and MCI in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has assisted other state commissions with arbitrations. He also worked with the Indiana Commission in the Investigation of Access Charge Reform and Universal Service Reform and served on the separations joint board (CC80-286) staff for Commissioner Rolka of Pennsylvania. Since 1999 Paul worked for Smithville Telephone Company in Ellettsville, Indiana as Vice President - Regulatory; for New Edge Networks headquartered in Vancouver, Washington as Senior Director - Industry Relations and as President of OutReach Communications of Kansas, City, Missouri. While working at Beacon Telecommunications Advisors of Tulsa, Oklahoma, he has been the chair of Focus Group 2B2 (Packet Switching Reliability) of the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council V (NRIC V) and has assisted three state commissions with their Section 271 proceedings.

Speaker: Heather E. Hudson, University of San Francisco, USA

Professor Heather E. Hudson is Director of the Telecommunications Management and Policy Program in the School of Business and Management at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Hudson has consulted widely on telecommunications and development issues, and has planned or evaluated telecommunications projects in more than 40 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. She received her MA and PhD in Communication Research from Stanford University, and JD from the University of Texas at Austin . She is the author of numerous articles and conference papers, as well as several books including Global Connections, Electronic Byways, Communication Satellites , and When Telephones Reach the Village . She has consulted for telecommunications companies, consulting firms, government agencies, consumer groups and international organizations including the ITU, the World Bank, UNESCO, UNDP, USAID, IDRC, CIDA, and the Commonwealth of Learning. Dr. Hudson is a member of the Boards of Women in Telecommunications (WiT) and Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, and a Governor of the International Council on Computer Communications (ICCC), and former Board Member of the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC). She has   also been a Member of the Board of the Pacific Telecommunications Council, and currently chairs its Research Committee.