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NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE, OHIO BELL PRESIDENT SAYS

 CLEVELAND, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Telecommunications technology can have significant impact on economic development, education and health care, but only if it is properly managed and allowed to flourish, according to Ohio Bell President Jacqueline F. Woods.
 During a speech Friday at the Cleveland City Club, Woods presented a future in which technology would create new ways for students to learn, businesses to remain competitive and health care to be delivered to those who need it.
 "It's not an overstatement to say that, as the infrastructure of our Information Age, telecommunications can have a major impact on the very quality of our lives," Woods said. "Technology has become a synonym for change. But only if we manage it properly, will it be change for the better."
 In the area of economic development, Woods pointed to studies that indicate the importance of technology to the creation of new jobs in Ohio.
 Woods said a study by Case Western Reserve University found that telecommunications-intensive industries have created more than 500,000 new jobs during the last 10 years, and will account for three-quarters of all new jobs by the end of the decade.
 In addition, a study by the WEFA Group indicated that Ohio could gain more than 150,000 new jobs during the next 10 years, she said.
 "Today, a strong telecommunications infrastructure is a major factor in a business decision to relocate," Woods said. "As the Clinton-Gore administration has discovered, commerce travels on an information superhighway. We need technology."
 Likewise, technology would enhance education by creating distance learning networks among classrooms and opening doors to new information sources, Woods said.
 "By bringing specialized instruction and other educational experiences to more students, advanced telecommunications can help a school with a tight budget expand its curriculum at a fraction of the cost," she said. "It would help equalize the disparity between rich and poor districts."
 Finally, advanced technology holds great promise for health care by making quality care more accessible and more cost efficient. Woods said a study by Arthur D. Little estimated the annual savings from the proper use of telecommunications in health care at more than $36 billion.
 "By helping us control the cost of health care, education and other essentials, our telecommunications superhighway has the potential to affect the very price we pay for the quality of our lives," Woods said.
 The ability of Ameritech/Ohio Bell to develop an information superhighway in Ohio depends on the company's ability to earn a just return from its investment, Woods said.
 "And that depends on an updating of the regulations which govern our business," she said. "Our legislators and regulators must bring the rules out of the age of hand crank telephones and into the age of fiber optics."
 -0- 9/10/93
 /CONTACT: Keith Jameson of Ohio Bell, 216-822-4548/
 (AIT)


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1993
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