From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity


February 2, 2000

Today, President Clinton will unveil a comprehensive proposal to help bridge the digital divide and create new opportunity for all Americans. This issue has been a top priority for Vice President Gore, who has worked to bridge the Digital Divide by ensuring that all children have access to educational technology. Access to computers and the Internet and the ability to use this technology effectively are becoming increasingly important for full participation in America's economic, political and social life. Unfortunately, unequal access to technology and high-tech skills by income, educational level, race, and geography could deepen and reinforce the divisions that exist within American society. President Clinton believes that we must make access to computers and the Internet as universal as the telephone is today -- in our schools, libraries, communities, and homes.

To make the most of these new opportunities, the President believes we must:

  • Broaden access to technologies such as computers, the Internet, and high-speed networks;
  • Provide people the skilled teachers and the training they need to master the information economy;
  • Promote online content and applications that will help empower all Americans to use new technologies to their fullest potential.

President Clinton will announce specific proposals in his new budget to help accomplish these goals and help create digital opportunity for more Americans -- including $2 billion in tax incentives to encourage private sector activities such as computer donations, and $380 million in new and expanded initiatives to serve as a catalyst for public-private partnerships.


1. $2 billion in tax incentives over 10 years to encourage private sector donation of computers, sponsorship of community technology centers, and technology training for workers.

2. $150 million to help train all new teachers entering the workforce to use technology effectively.

3. $100 million to create 1,000 Community Technology Centers in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.

4. $50 million for a public/private partnership to expand home access to computers and the Internet for low-income families.

5. $45 million to promote innovative applications of information and communications technology for under-served communities.

6. $25 million to accelerate private sector deployment of broadband networks in under-served urban and rural communities.

7. $10 million to prepare Native Americans for careers in Information Technology and other technical fields.

To Help Mobilize Public/Private Partnerships To Close the Digital Divide, President Clinton Will Lead A New Markets Trip during the week of April 9th: Closing the Digital Divide requires creative partnerships between industry, non-profit organizations and government. That's why President Clinton will lead a New Markets trip during the week of April 9th designed to mobilize a significant private and public effort to close the digital divide. This trip, which will include leading high-tech CEOs, will highlight communities that are using information technology to enhance our children's education, expand access to life-long learning, and create economic growth and high-tech, high-wage jobs.

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