Technology briefs

Energy lights up e-gov

The Energy Department kicked off an e-government strategy May 2 to improve how information technology is managed and used in the department.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said the Innovative Department of Energy E-Government Applications (IDEA) program will increase efficiency, improve resource management, simplify processes and unify information flow across business lines.

Energy's chief information officer, Karen Evans, will head a high-level departmental task force that will develop an action plan and road map. The task force will identify action items to make improvements in four areas: Service to individuals/citizens, service to businesses, service to intergovernmental institutions, and internal efficiency and effectiveness.

IBM, Hughes team for broadband satellite

IBM Corp. recently announced an alliance with Hughes Network Systems Inc. for affordable broadband satellite connectivity, especially to rural areas.

In areas where no Digital Subscriber Line or cable modem system is available, municipalities could get satellite equipment installed for a start-up cost of $1,240 and then pay $99 per month for 24-hour, high-speed Internet access.

IBM and the National Association of Counties (NACo) will be demonstrating the service at NACo's Western Interstate Region Conference this month in Billings, Mont. Representatives from up to 175 counties are expected to attend.

Howard Young, client solution executive for IBM Global Services, said satellite broadband service was discussed last August when NACo representatives said they have rural members who do not have a way to access the Internet.

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