Ohio ready to launch ECom-Ohio project
The state of Ohio will launch its ECom-Ohio project Sept. 21, the first project of its kind aimed at assessing the state's readiness for global electronic commerce.
The project will bring together statewide technology leaders in government, education and industry to assess Ohio's network infrastructure as well as citizens' demand for online services. The project, which will be housed at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), also will tackle the "digital divide" in the state.
"Our metropolitan areas are very well connected, but other areas are experiencing the great digital divide," said Pari Sabety, OSC's director of technology policy. "We want to analyze the data to see exactly where the divide is...and get a sense of how far along we are. People have been investing in infrastructure for years and asking When do we have enough for broadband?... And we don't have enough."
The three-year project (which will be found at www.ecom-ohio.org) is being supported by the Ohio Department of Development and private companies, and it will help the state compare regions of the state with the rest of the United States in network infrastructure reliability and use.
"The project should provide a snapshot of the framework of technology from counties throughout the state, but also at the regional level," Sabety said. "We want to identify the gaps and determine where to continue to invest."
Business and industry partners will examine how the advancement of the digital economy will affect their future. "We're going to be looking for examples of how companies are using e-commerce technology because it's a lot more than just buying and selling things over the Internet," said Michael Silver, acting director of the Ameritech Camp Center for E-Commerce Services and Solutions (ACCESS) in Cleveland. "ECom-Ohio is a good fit with our mission to help small and medium-size businesses find e-commerce business solutions."
The project will use benchmarks established by the 1998 Computer Systems Policy Project (www.cspp.org/gecreadinessguide). A statewide steering committee with representatives from all sectors will oversee six regional leadership teams. The regional teams will perform infrastructure inventory, domain and World Wide Web site analysis, community planning, real-time product testing and user surveys.