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 ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritech today announced a major grant enabling the nation's top educators to research public policies on telecommunications. The company called the effort a progressive initiative that underscores the national agenda outlined recently by the Clinton administration.
 "Ameritech is committed to making the United States a worldwide leader in the Information Age," said Richard H. Brown, Ameritech vice chairman and president of the Ameritech Foundation. "Led by some of the finest research institutes in the country, this undertaking will help define the policies that are needed at a time when everyone is talking about information superhighways."
 The Ameritech Foundation will contribute $700,000 to create a university consortium analyzing regional, national and international policies.
 Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the consortium will help ensure that advanced telecommunications and information services are readily available to all Americans.
 The University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of California at Berkeley are the initial recipients of the grant, with others expected to follow.
 Launched today at the University of Michigan, the consortium will link faculty and researchers through joint research projects, special publications and an annual national conference.
 Douglas E. Van Houweling, vice provost for information technology at the University of Michigan, will chair the consortium. He said the consortium is tackling an issue that will have a profound effect on the nation this decade and far into the 21st century.
 The project offers a great opportunity for nationwide collaboration, he said.
 "The consortium offers society the best and brightest minds focusing on one of the most important issues of our lifetime -- information superhighways," Van Houweling said. "We're pleased to be one of the primary participants."
 Jim Wilkes, president -- Ameritech Michigan, said the research will prescribe how all Americans can benefit from advanced telecommunications.
 "We have services that can offer distance-learning programs to students everywhere, link doctors with homebound patients and join businesses worldwide as if they were located in the same building," Wilkes said. "What the United States needs now are policies that facilitate rapid and universal rollout of those services."
 Michigan is a key state in telecommunications policy development, especially with the landmark 1991 Michigan Telecommunications Act, Wilkes said. That act encourages telecommunications competition and rapid introduction of products and services that benefit the state's residents and businesses.
 The consortium will have an external advisory board of industry representatives and an academic advisory board. Academic advisers include David J. Teece, director of the Center for Research and Management at the University of California at Berkeley, and Steven W. Wildman, director of the Program in Telecommunications Science, Management and Policy at Northwestern University.
 The Ameritech Foundation is funded by Ameritech and gives priority to regional and national organizations with emphasis on education, economic development, communications technologies and quality of life.
 Based in Chicago, Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) is a leading supplier of full-service communications and advanced information services, primarily to about 12 million customers in the Midwest. It also has operations in New Zealand, Poland and other international areas. Its 1992 revenues were $11.2 billion.
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 /CONTACT: Sherry Knight of Ameritech, 313-223-7197/

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 13, 1994

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