Reliability issues aside, we have demonstrated that true remote observing over high-speed networks provides several important advantages over standard observing paradigms. Technical advantages include more rapid download of data and the opportunity for alternative communication facilities, such as audio- and videoconferencing. Scientific benefits include involving more members of observing teams while decreasing expenses, enhancing real-time data analysis of observations by persons not subject to altitude-related conditions, and providing facilities, expertise, and personnel not normally available at the observing site.
Due to the limited scope of the ACTS project, future work from the standpoint of Keck Observatory will be concerned with establishing a more permanent remote observing facility via a ground-based network. At least two projects are under way in this direction: remote observing from the Keck Headquarters in Waimea, from where up to 75% of observing is now performed every month, and remote observing from multiple sites on the U.S. mainland using a slower T1 connection (Conrad et al. 1997, SPIE Proc. 3112). Trial tests of this latter approach over the Internet have been extremely promising.