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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 8, 1999


                             November 8, 1999

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to keep America at the cutting-edge of the Information Revolution, and to ensure that the opportunities of the Information Age are available to all Americans. During the last seven years, they have fought to connect every classroom to the Internet, promote electronic commerce, bridge the "digital divide," and increase our investment in long-term research that will create high-tech, high-wage jobs. Under their leadership, more than half of classrooms and 90 percent of schools have been connected to the Internet. More than 100 million Americans now have access to the Internet, and electronic commerce could reach $1.5 trillion by 2003 in the U.S. alone. During the last three years, the information technology industry has accounted for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth - and is generating jobs that pay almost 80 percent more that the average private sector wage.

  1. Connecting our children to the future: President Clinton and Vice President Gore have set a goal of connecting every classroom and library to the Internet by the year 2000. They also have fought for investments in technology training for teachers, modern computers in the classroom, and high-quality education software. Technology in the classroom can make it easier for parents and teachers to communicate, prepare our children for the high-tech workplace of the 21st century, and help improve student performance in all academic subjects. As a result of the Clinton-Gore educational technology initiative:
  2. Promoting e-commerce: Electronic commerce is making it easier for small businesses to reach hundreds of millions of customers around the world. For consumers, e-commerce can mean more choice, greater convenience, customized products, and lower prices. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have pursued a policy that allows electronic commerce to flourish by eliminating unnecessary government regulations, and relying on private sector leadership whenever possible. The Administration has made significant progress on many of its top e-commerce priorities, including:
  3. From "digital divide" to "digital opportunity": Currently, households with more than $75,000 and higher are twenty times more likely to have access to the Internet than those at the lowest income levels, and more than nine times as likely to have a computer at home. In addition to ensuring that all schools and libraries are connected to the Internet, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have also taken other steps to bridge the digital divide, including:
  4. Keeping America at the cutting-edge of Internet technology: Today's Internet is an outgrowth of U.S. government-funded research in the late 1960s (the ARPANET). To maintain America's technological edge, it is critical that the government increase investment in long-term research. That's why President Clinton and Vice President Gore have fought for the "Next Generation Internet" - which is connecting universities and national labs at speeds that are 1,000 times faster than today's Internet. Scientists are developing new applications such as telemedicine - which allows a doctor to see real-time imagery of a beating heart.