Oregon rates as e-friendliest
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Mar 14, 2002
A new study found that Oregon leads the 50 states and the District of Columbia
in promoting laws, regulations and actions that spur e-commerce, e-government
and digital signatures.
The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a Washington, D.C., think tank,
examined how each state imposed laws that protect specific industries, taxed
Internet access, promoted electronic interaction with the government and
recognized legally binding electronic signatures.
Specifically, the institute scored the states on whether their laws
and regulations facilitated telemedicine and permitted consumers to purchase
contact lenses, prescription drugs, mortgages, insurance, cars and wine
and participate in auctions online.
The institute used the Progress and Freedom Foundation's "The Digital
State 2000" report as a basis for ranking states on how far they've progressed
electronically and also looked at how many states enacted the Uniform Electronic
Transactions Act (UETA) or similar legislation promoting digital signatures.
The PPI report said Oregon is the "nation's best state for Internet
users" because residents don't have to pay Internet usage taxes and they
can buy wine and prescription drugs and acquire mortgages online with few
restrictions. The state also provides above-average electronic interaction
between the government and residents.
Following Oregon are Utah, Indiana, Louisiana and Iowa. Ranked lowest
is South Carolina, followed by New Mexico, Alabama, California and North
Carolina. The report also said there are differences regionally. The Pacific
region (Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California) and the West
South Central states (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana) are friendlier
to e-consumers than other parts of the country.
But there is room for improvement. The report recommends that states
* Avoid protectionist regulations by repealing laws "prohibiting, limiting
or hindering" online sales.
* Promote uniformity or cross-border reciprocal arrangements in licensing
* Create a more customer-centric e-government, via portals for example.
* Adopt UETA to enable the use of digital signatures.
* Eliminate taxes on Internet access, which are a "nuisance that raise
little revenue," according to the report.