For Immediate Release
Monday, February 28, 2000
Contact: Morrie Goodman
(202) 482-4883
Ranjit de Silva
Art Brodsky


Contract award is part of Administration efforts to close digital divide, Daley says

WASHINGTON - Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today announced the award of a $103,241 contract to the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute for a study on "Information Technology-based Projects in Hispanic-Serving Education and Training Institutions." This study is part of the Clinton Administration's efforts to help develop an information technology infrastructure that is accessible to all Americans.

"We hope that the findings from the study will provide a basis for further discussions about ways to make information resources available to Hispanic Americans," Secretary Daley said. "Determining how to provide access to these resources is a critical step towards closing the digital divide," he also said.

The contract for the study, which was signed February 17, was awarded by Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and is one of several Administration initiatives designed to help close the digital divide--the gap between Americans with access to information technologies and those without. In a report issued last July, NTIA highlighted the digital divide, saying the digital divide has become a racial ravine for black and Hispanic residents. For example, between 1994 and 1998, the gap between white and Hispanic households owning computers increased by 42.6 percent, while for Internet access between the two groups the gap increased by 37.6 percent in one year alone. When considering telephone access, 95 percent of all white households have telephones, and only 84.6 percent of Hispanic residents have telephones.

The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute is a non-profit, policy research organization, based in Claremont, California. Its research covers a wide range of subjects including, economic well-being, education, information technology and social issues.

This is the second in a series of contracts to be awarded by NTIA's Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) for research and evaluation on the diffusion of telecommunications and information technology applications in the public and non-profit sectors. The first contract was awarded to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education to conduct a technology assessment study at each of the nation's historically black colleges and universities.