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March Madness at USTTI!
April 7, 2005

Welcome to Washington, DC!
USTTI recently welcomed our first training group of 2005 to an orientation at the USTTI offices in Washington, DC. Sixteen women and men from fifteen countries, who just completed the NTIA’s spectrum management course, gathered on March 18 at the USTTI to meet with course trainers, hear a lecture on American Communications Policy by a George Washington University professor, review the layout of Washington, DC, and then tour the museums and monuments on the National Mall. USTTI orientations are a great way for participants to meet one another before training and enjoy the sites of DC before intensive training sessions begin!


Numbers Update
To date, USTTI has received 7,165 applications from 110 developing countries for our 2005 training courses. That is over 400 more applications than had been received by this date in 2004 (a year which featured our strongest applicant pool in history). We thank all of you who have already submitted applications, and we look forward to receiving applications from those who have yet to apply.


Southeast Asia Conference in Bangkok
The United States Telecommunications Training Institute has joined as an official supporting organization for a U.S. conference on information and communications technologies for Southeast Asian nations. Presented by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the April 27-29 event in Bangkok, Thailand, will bring government officials and private sector leaders from eight countries together with representatives of U.S. telecommunications and Internet technology companies.

The Southeast Asia Connections Conference will provide participants with details on new project and export opportunities in the areas of mobile systems, wireless local loop, data networking and Internet access, fiber networks, e-government and e-commerce. The projects presented at the event will range in value from $2 million to $200 million with an expected implementation timeframe in the next 18 months.

The conference agenda will also address key policy issues and highlight efforts to expand telecommunications infrastructure, improve delivery of government services, and support e-commerce. Speakers will include senior government officials and industry leaders from East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.

Also expected to participate are representatives of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Southeast Asian companies interested in partnering with U.S. firms. Officials from international lending institutions, including the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the International Finance Corporation, will also be on hand to discuss loan and insurance programs available for communications exports and investment in the region.

For more information or to register, visit the conference website at www.trademeetings.com or contact Kevin Craemer at +1-202-347-2725.


Applications Due for Second Trimester Courses
Due to time-sensitive visa requirements, we urge all interested applicants to submit applications to the USTTI at least 16 weeks before your desired course’s orientation is held at USTTI headquarters in Washington, DC. This means that applications for the USTTI’s second trimester courses (M5-2XX) should be submitted as soon as possible. Applications received within 16 weeks of the orientation date will still be considered, but it will be more difficult to secure a US entry visa within such a limited timeframe. Link here to the Second Trimester course schedule!


Expanded Disaster Communications Training
Given the devastation that resulted from the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia, the USTTI is expanding its current Emergency Communications course sequence in order to meet the increased global demand for disaster training. Those interested in applying for courses specializing in emergency communication should keep an eye out for new course offerings by regularly checking our web site.


Wireless Broadband Videoconference
On April 25, the USTTI will host its second videoconference in coordination with CITEL and the World Bank on “Wireless Broadband: Challenges and Opportunities.” The videoconference will make use of the World Bank’s Global Development Learning Network, and will connect with CITEL’s PCC.2 meeting in Guatemala City, as well as with GDLN sites in Bolivia, Chile, and Panama. The USTTI hopes to increasingly utilize videoconference technology to make aspects of its regular curriculum available to more interested parties around the world.


Welcome New Interns
The USTTI is pleased to welcome three new interns: Nirvana Abou-Gabal, Arturo Corretjer, and Matt Witko! Due to the tireless efforts of our interns, the USTTI is able to remain efficient and effective with a small, seven-person staff. Besides working at the USTTI, all of our interns are full-time students. Nirvana and Arturo are students at George Washington University while Matt pursues his undergraduate education at American University.


Curriculum Innovation Day
On Tuesday, March 15, 2005 the USTTI hosted a Curriculum Innovation Day to bring together dozens of our course sponsors and circulate new ideas. Along with the USTTI staff, our sponsors brainstormed new ideas for course content and website improvement. Topics of discussion included USTTI’s 2006 curriculum, increased outreach to USTTI alumni, online course materials, and potential areas for course expansion. We value the helpful inquiries, comments, and suggestions of all who participated in this meeting and are eager to implement these new ideas for the benefit of our alumni and communications/IT professionals throughout the developing world.


March Madness!
March is not only the beginning of the USTTI training year, but it also means the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament. Each March, the US catches “basketball fever” and tries to predict the winners. Out of the original pool of 64 teams, the University of North Carolina Tarheels have emerged as this year’s NCAA Champions!

 

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