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Brown Releases Report Exploring How Information Infrastructure Enhances Quality Of Life

Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown today released a report that discusses the vast potential impact and improvement information technology can have on the quality of American life.

The report, The Information Infrastructure: Reaching Society's Goals, was released at the "Breaking the Barriers to the National Information Infrastructure" conference in Washington, D.C.

"Effectively using sophisticated communications networks and information technology can make a difference not just in how people work, but in how well they live," said Brown, chairman of the Clinton administration's Information Infrastructure Task Force, which co-sponsored the conference with the Council on Competitiveness.

The report is a collection of eight papers, each of which explores the benefits for a particular application area. The papers help define a national vision for how advanced communications and computing technologies can:

  • enable people with disabilities to achieve full citizenship in our society;
  • improve the production, consumption and management of electric power;
  • increase the safety and efficiency of our transportation system;
  • allow greater flexibility and worker satisfaction through telecommuting;
  • save lives and property in times of large-scale emergencies and natural disasters;
  • empower citizen action to maintain a clean environment;
  • ensure that non-profit cultural institutions maintain their position on the front lines of popular creativity and expression; and
  • further educate and better inform both citizens and the agencies they rely upon to maintain public safety.

Each paper also highlights current activities that can help make the benefits a reality, details obstacles that stand in the way of success and poses questions designed to promote an interactive dialogue on how to remove or reduce these obstacles.

The IITF's Committee on Applications and Technology, chaired by Arati Prabhakar, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, prepared today's report as part of its efforts to promote applications of information technology and accelerate implementation of the National Information Infrastructure.

This second set of application papers is published as a draft for public comment to promote discussions between citizens and their government on how information technology can enhance the quality of life. The first report, Putting the Information Infrastructure to Work, released in May, generated responses from educators, health care professionals, researchers and others interested in helping to shape an advanced information infrastructure. Comments on today's report are due back by Jan. 15, 1995.

To get a copy of the report, order NIST Special Publication 868 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, (202) 783-3238 or from the National Technical Information Service, at Springfield, Va. 22161, (703) 487-4650. The document is also available electronically on the Information Infrastructure Task Force Information Server by World Wide Web, gopher, telnet (login - gopher) or anonymous ftp to (via Internet). The document can be found in the "documents/papers" subcategory of the "speeches/testimony/documents" category.

Released September 7, 1994, Updated November 27, 2017