OVERVIEW From September 15 to October 10, 1997, Information Renaissance conducted an online seminar about the Federal Communication Commissions's Universal Service discount program (or "E-rate"), which will be available to defray telecommunications costs for schools and libraries, including costs related to Internet connectivity. The Universal Service program is anticipated to provide annual discounts of up to $2.25 billion dollars. The Universal Service: Pennsylvania online seminar was sponsored by the Governor's Office of Administration/Office of Information Technology of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It was conducted with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC) as a pilot project for using the network to obtain public comment on regulatory issues. Participants included K-12 educators and administrators, school and community librarians, technology coordinators, area vocational technical school and community college teachers and administrators, parents and school board members from across Pennsylvania.

  • Learn how to apply for telecommunications discounts under the new federal Universal Service program.
  • Learn how to use your Universal Service discounts as an effective complement to Link to Learn funding.
  • Learn how telecommunications programs of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC) can assist school and libraries.
  • Help the Universal Telephone Service Task Force of the PaPUC develop recommendations for the Commonwealth.
  • Develop professional relationships with other educators involved with the application of Internet technology to life-long learning.

AGENDA The seminar agenda will cover the following topics:
  • Federal Universal Service discounts
  • Application procedures
  • Pennsylvania programs
  • Recommendations to the PaPUC
  • Public participation in rule making at the state and federal level
You can refer to the detailed agenda for an itemized list of topics to be covered or jump to the SEMINAR ACTIVITIES WEEK BY WEEK to join the work currently in progress.
  • Etiquette
  • Management of the Discussion
  • Resources
  • How the Seminar Functions
  • What's Required
  • Surveys
  • How to Post

  • Alphabetical list of people registered for the seminar
  • Map of Pennsylvania counties showing registered participants
  • Distribution of participants by employment
  • View the Universal Service: Pennsylvania online seminar online registration form. (no longer active)

  • Seminar Coordinator: Bess Adams
  • Phone: 412-471-4636
  • FAX: 412-471-
  • E-mail:
  • URL:

RESOURCES Information Renaissance, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, has developed an online library of reference materials that will be used in the seminar. These materials will be updated as new information becomes available from federal and state sources.

INFO-REN Click on the target symbol on this and other pages to search the Information Renaissance Web site.