Advanced Communications Technology and Services (ACTS), is one of the specific programmes of the "Fourth Framework Programme of European Community activities in the field of research and technological development and demonstration (1994 to 1998)". It is the focus of this EU research effort to accelerate deployment of advanced communications infrastructures and services. ACTS communications research is complemented by extensive European research in the related fields of information technology and telematics. ACTS builds on the work of the earlier RACE programmes (Research into Advanced Communications for Europe, 1985-1995), which were established to contribute to the "Introduction of lntegrated Broadband Communications in Europe. .. by 1995. " RACE broadly achieved this objective, and the required technologies started to be deployed in European countries either in specialised scientific networks or, in a few cases, as limited public services. ACTS represents a further step towards the longer term goal of realising a global Information Society. Within Europe, all the major telecommunications network operators, the leading broadcasters, cable TV operators and all the key European equipment manufacturers participate in the ACTS programme. Their enthusiasm, and sense of partnership with the major consumers of communications is leading to a shared vision of the future.