Passage of Georgia's Distance Learning and Telemedicine Act of 1992 resulted in a windfall of $50 million from telephone company over-earnings. Rather than refund the money to consumers, legislators created a fund to finance telecommunications projects in medicine and education. When Governor Zell Miller signed the Act into law more than a year ago, he said, "[It] will immediately catapult Georgia to the forefront of this nation in the use of advanced telecommunications to improve the quality of life of its people." The law also set the state's cable television and telephone companies at odds. Nancy Horne, executive director of the Cable Television Association of Georgia, said that her industry's broadband fiber and coaxial infrastructure is in place to provide the state with telemedicine capabilities, and that transmission of full motion video or high resolution diagnostic images could take hours over standard telephone lines. Representatives of telephone companies argue that new high-speed cell relay switching technology provides instantaneous communications. An appointed Board of Governors holds tightly to the strings that secure a purse containing the $50 million. No grants have yet been awarded. In the middle of the debate stands Georgia's Department of Administrative Services, which moderates the competition between the two industries. And, the Medical College of Georgia created a demonstration project based on telephone technology. Representatives of both institutions gave Healthcare Informatics their views on developments of telemedicine in Georgia.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Healthcare informatics : the business magazine for information and communication systems|
|State||Published - May 1993|
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