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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                       (Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt)

For Immediate Release October 16, 2000


I am pleased by a new report released today by the Commerce Department, documenting a sharp increase in the number of Americans that have access to computers and the Internet. Although much more remains to be done to bridge the digital divide and create digital opportunity for all Americans, I am especially pleased that many low-income, rural and minority households are beginning to "get connected" at rates faster than the national average.

Access to these Information Age tools is becoming critical to full participation in America's economic, political and social life. Americans are using the Internet to vote, look for work, acquire new skills, and communicate with their children's teachers. To ensure that we continue to make progress in bridging the digital divide, I urge Congress to fund the initiatives that I have proposed in my budget. These include my proposals to fully fund Community Technology Centers, Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology, assistive technology for people with disabilities, and the Commerce Department's Home Internet Access and Technology Opportunity Program.