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50 Million People Reached In Less Than Four Years

50 Million People Reached In Less Than Four Years

Source: Office of Governor James S. Gilmore, III, Press Office. World Congress on Information Technology Opening Remarks by Governor Jim Gilmore, June 22, 1998.

Thank you. On behalf of all Virginians, I welcome you to one of our finest educational institutions -- George Mason University -- the site of this eleventh World Congress on Information Technology.

Never before in history has a force brought about so much change, over so short a period of time, and across so broad a spectrum of society than has the information technology industry.

It has been just over fifty years since the world's first programmable computer became operational. It cost millions of dollars to build and processed an unprecedented 5,000 instructions per second. By 1971, Intel was able to pack 25 times that power into a single, two hundred-dollar chip. Today's personal computers process 400,000 instructions per second and if current trends continue, desktop-computing power will be at 100,000 million instructions per second by the year 2012.

The penetration of today's low-cost, high-powered computers into society, combined with the advent of more powerful telecommunications technologies has spawned the creation and rapid expansion of the most powerful communications medium in history -- the Internet.

No other medium has captured the world's attention as rapidly as the Internet. It took 38 years from the introduction of the radio for 50 million people to tune in. It took television 13 years and PCs 16 years to reach that same benchmark. The Internet reached 50 million people in less than four years.

And with sound policies like the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which I have supported, there is no stopping the rise of the Internet as the world's dominant marketplace and communications medium.

The growth of e-commerce via the Internet is indicative of the dramatic impact the entire information technology industry is having on the global economy. We have seen IT businesses rise to a dominant position throughout Virginia's economy. Virginia is home to more than 2500 technology businesses that employ more than a quarter million people who account for wages in excess of fourteen billion dollars. We project that by 2002 the technology sector will include as many as 4,000 businesses and 330,000 employees.

It is the growth of the technology sector that has fed Virginia's burgeoning economy. As Governor, I am deeply committed to supporting technology businesses and workers with sound economic policies and quality education. Part of that includes ensuring that state government itself is an efficient user of information and other advanced technologies.

Last month, I appointed Virginia's first Secretary of Technology -- Don Upson. Secretary of Technology Upson is the only cabinet-level officer in the nation to combine statewide IT management with broader technology responsibilities including economic development and workforce training. It is this kind of broad focus that will be required for Virginia to move forward as an information technology leader in the 21st century.

Your next conference will be held at the dawn of the 21st Century, the Third Millenium, and what history will recognize as the Age of Information. The technologies you produce and the services you provide will transform our lives in infinite and unimaginable ways. You are the leaders ... the revolutionaries who will bring this Age to us. I am proud to be here to salute you. Thank you for coming to Virginia.

© Commonwealth of Virginia 2000


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).