Report: Ohio biz, governments need Net
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jun 05, 2000
Ohio has a sufficient backbone for electronic commerce, but governments
and businesses are not using it to the fullest, according to the first of
three yearly reports on the state's readiness for global e-commerce.
The infrastructure is sufficient in cities and towns but is not in rural
areas, where the population has not demanded it, said Jude Geist, program
coordinator of the technology policy group of the Ohio Supercomputer Center,
which is issuing the reports.
The Ecom-Ohio project (www.ecom-ohio.org), launched in the fall, compares
regions of the state to others in the country to assess the state's infrastructure
reliability and useage.
The main concern of the center, Geist said, is that small governments
and businesses are not taking advantage of the network. He said it is most
likely because businesses have fewer than five employees, and many small
governments do not have knowledgeable staff or staff time to create World
Wide Web sites.
"Education is going to be a big concern," he said. "We need to promote
the benefits of electronic commerce to the businesses and governments."
The center is working on several recommendations, in addition to the
proposed actions expressed in the report. He said one idea that could be
implemented this summer would be to create county Web portals through which
smaller governments could aggregate. He also said a gathering of business
and government leaders would be helpful to get the word out on e-commerce
The report was created through several surveys, including business and
education professionals, and from research on government and business Web
sites. The center is reworking the survey process for next year, he said.
Gov. Bob Taft said he will appoint a panel to review the report to address