A project to investigate the feasibility of delivering on-demand distance education to the desktop, known as the Asynchronous Distance Education ProjecT (ADEPT), is presently being carried out. A set of Stanford engineering classes is digitized on PC, Macintosh, and UNIX platforms, and is made available on servers. Students on campus and in industry may then access class material on these servers via local and metropolitan area networks. Students can download class video and audio, encoded in QuickTimeTM and Show-Me TVTM formats, via file-transfer protocol or the World Wide Web. Alternatively, they may stream a vector-quantized version of the class directly from a server for real-time playback. Students may also download PostscriptTM and Adobe AcrobatTM versions of class notes. Off-campus students may connect to ADEPT servers via the internet, the Silicon Valley Test Track (SVTT), or the Bay-Area Gigabit Network (BAGNet). The SVTT and BAGNet are high-speed metropolitan-area networks, spanning the Bay Area, which provide IP access over asynchronous transfer mode (ATM). Student interaction is encouraged through news groups, electronic mailing lists, and an ADEPT home page. Issues related to having multiple platforms and interoperability are examined in this paper. The ramifications of providing a reliable service are discussed. System performance and the parameters that affect it are then described. Finally, future work on expanding ATM access, real-time delivery of classes, and enhanced student interaction is described.