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CONEJO VALLEY : Telecommunications Center Slated for ’95

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Thousand Oaks will soon boast the state’s first telecommunications test center, a high-tech research facility that will offer residents the chance to consult doctors, question teachers or train employees simply by tapping a few computer keystrokes.

In a pilot project administered by Caltrans, the federal government will put up $1.2 million for an Advanced Telecommunication Center designed to evaluate the practical applications of emerging technology.

By stacking the center with dozens of cutting-edge programs, Caltrans officials hope to make it easy for residents to transact daily business through computers.

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Ultimately, Caltrans wants to persuade residents to go on-line rather than on the road.

Thus, teen-agers might be able to view the hottest fashions by tapping into a computer video hooked up to the mall. Families might be able to organize virtual-reality reunions with distant relatives. And accountants might be able to check their clients’ books through the magic of video conferencing.

The city will contribute $14,000 to the telecommunications center, plus space at the Civic Arts Plaza now under construction.

Slated to open early next year, the Advanced Telecommunications Center will feature several components. Most will be set up in the Civic Arts Plaza, but officials also envision some mobile units that will travel to classrooms, businesses or individual homes.

The telecommunications center will include:

* A teleconference room allowing business people to hold cross-country or overseas meetings through video screens, providing their contacts have access to compatible software.

* A mobility management program offering up-to-the-minute information, in both English and Spanish, on traffic, road conditions and public transit options.

* A job training center allowing business owners to teach their employees at various sites through a single video program.

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