In an effort to help Americans better understand benefits of the emerging National Information Infrastructure (NII), the Clinton Administration's Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) today unveiled an online resource about this interconnection of computer networks, telecommunications services and applications that is sometimes called the "information superhighway."
"As a one-stop electronic resource, the NII Virtual Library home page provides a place where people can find out what an advanced information infrastructure really means and how they can use it," Arati Prabhakar, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, said as she demonstrated the new site at today's meeting of the IITF, which is chaired by Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown.
The NII Virtual Library home page provides any user with explanations of the NII and how it works and provides system developers with information on NII applications. A state-by-state listing of NII-related projects and collections of reports and documents are fully searchable for easy access.
The new World Wide Web site, co-sponsored by the IITF and the Council on Competitiveness, features links to information sites developed by universities, museums, large corporations, small businesses, government agencies, non-profit groups and other organizations with an interest in using the NII. It was developed by the Committee on Applications and Technology with the support of the Office of Enterprise Integration at NIST.
The site can be reached at http://nii.nist.gov by anyone with a properly equipped computer running World Wide Web browsing software, such as Mosaic or Netscape. Public access to Internet resources is available at a growing number of public libraries, schools and other organizations across the country.
The Clinton Administration's IITF consists of high-level representatives of the federal agencies that play a major role in the development and application of information technologies. Working with the private sector, the task force is coordinating Administration efforts to facilitate development and demonstration of applications of information technology, formulating Administration positions on key telecommunications issues and addressing critical information policy issues.
The Council on Competitiveness is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of chief executives from business, higher education and organized labor who have joined together to pursue a single overriding goal: to improve the ability of American companies and workers to compete in world markets while building a rising standard of living at home. The Council recently launched its Healthcare Information Infrastructure (HII) Project, which addresses the emerging market for NII-related healthcare products and services.
For technical assistance when accessing the home page, contact Rick Kuhn on (301) 975-4601 or rkuhn [at] nist.gov.