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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

January 20, 1998


"The computers that you have in your school now, and the connection you have to the Internet, are the building blocks of your future successes. They are also the way our country's telecommunications system can bring us together as a nation -- building communities to keep America connected," FCC Chairman William Kennard said today at Alice Harte Elementary School in New Orleans Louisiana.

Kennard visited the elementary school while he was in New Orleans for the National Association of Television Programming Executives' (NATPE) 35th Annual Convention. Kennard said he toured Alice Harte Elementary School, "because it is an example of the telecommunications community working to help provide inner city and underserved communities with access to the information superhighway." In recent months Kennard has challenged the telecommunications industry to provide this type of assistance.

Kennard told Alice Harte Elementary students, "Many schools in this country don't even have one classroom with Internet access. As head of the Federal Communications Commission, I am working hard to ensure that every school child in this country has the same opportunities you do and that we bring modern communications technology to every classroom."

"There already is a troubling gap in our country between information haves and have-nots," said Kennard, "The cost of access to telecommunications services continues to be a barrier for too many schools and libraries. These costs prevent many of our citizens, most notably our kids, from using twenty-first century tools to learn."

Kennard said, "I am committed to ensuring that the children of America, rich and poor, rural and urban, are prepared for the jobs of the Information Age."

Alice Harte is a New Orleans district elementary school serving 850 students. There are 65 teachers on staff. The computer classroom was created with assistance from a state grant and a software grant from Microsoft Corporation. It is connected via ISDN to the Internet through Greater New Orleans FreeNet. Students in grades K-6 use the computer classroom to learn and use computers and software.

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