NTIA ADMINISTRATOR GREGORY L. ROHDE PARTICIPATES IN NEW YORK "DIGITAL DIVIDE" FORUM WITH CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS MEMBERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS

Gregory L. Rohde, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and administrator of NTIA, participated in a "Digital Divide" Forum in Brooklyn, New York on April 17 that focused on the challenges faced by minority companies in efforts to close the gap between those with access and those without access to information technologies, tools critical for economic success and advancement.

The Forum was organized by Representatives Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The Forum also explored ways of improving access to the Internet for minorities and low-income Americans. In July 1998, the Department of Commerce issued a report, which among other things, said that minorities were among those lacking access to information technologies.

"This event is just the beginning of our journey towards creating new opportunities for all Americans," Rohde said. "We have a unique opportunity to take meaningful steps towards ensuring that underserved communities do not fall behind in pursuing the valuable opportunities created by this technological revolution," he said.

"The leadership of Congressman Towns and Congresswoman Waters on this effort will go a long way to ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to share in the benefits of the new electronic economy," Rohde said. "I commend them and their colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus for working to close the digital divide," he said.

Among those participating in the Forum were representatives from Bell Atlantic, GTE, AT&T, New Media Technology, Netcom Technological Solutions, the Telecommunications Development Fund, WireAmerica, Technical Career Institute, Long Island University, Fort Greene SNAP, and Brooklyn Community School Board 13.

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