During its first seven months, the Clinton-Gore
Administration has taken major steps to make its vision of the
National Information Infrastructure a reality:
1. Freeing up spectrum to create information "skyways":
The President recently signed the Emerging
Telecommunications Technology Act, which directs the
Secretary of Commerce to transfer, over a ten-year
period, at least 200 MHz of spectrum now used by
federal agencies to the FCC for subsequent licensing to
the private sector. It allows the FCC to use
competitive bidding to grant new license assignments
This will create high-tech jobs and accelerate the
development of new wireless industries such as Personal
Communications Services. The entire cellular industry,
which has created 100,000 jobs, was created by
licensing only 50 MHz of spectrum.
2. Reinventing Government:
The Administration is committed to using "electronic
government" to ensure that the federal government works
better and costs less.
$1.1 billion for the High-Performance Computing and
Communications Initiative, including a new $100 million
program to develop applications in areas such as
education, manufacturing, health, and digital
libraries. The House has passed legislation which
would authorize these new programs; Senate action is
expected in the fall of 1993.
$50 million for NTIA grants to demonstrate the
applications of the NII for non-profit institutions
such as schools, hospitals, and libraries.
$40 million for research by the Department of Energy's
National Labs on the information infrastructure.
The ARPA-led Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP), funded
at $472 million in FY 1993, has generated almost 3,000 proposals
from the private sector, requesting a total of $8.5 billion.
Many of these proposals are for technology development for the
National Information Infrastructure and its applications in
health care, manufacturing, electronic commerce, and education
and training. The President recently endorsed increasing the
funding of the TRP to $600 million for FY 1994.
4. Making government information more available to citizens:
The Office of Management and Budget issued a new policy
in June (OMB Circular A-130) to encourage agencies to
increase citizen access to public information.
Also in June, the President and Vice President
announced that the White House would be accessible to
the public via electronic mail. The Administration is
using on-line information services and the Internet to
make available speeches, press briefings, executive
orders, and a summary of the budget.
5. Creating the right environment for private sector investment
in the National Information Infrastructure:
The President has signed into law tax incentives for
private sector investment in R&D and new business
formation, including a three-year extension of the R&D
credit and a targeted capital gains reduction for
investments in small businesses. Both of these tax
incentives will help spur the private sector investment
needed to develop the National Information