- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2000

Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III yesterday declared the state the "Digital Dominion" and committed it to being first and best in harnessing the Internet for everything from test preparation in schools to government services.

At a Loudoun County high school, Mr. Gilmore and Steve Case, chairman of America Online, also announced a partnership between the state and AOL to hook up all school computers to a special AOL project that will make the Internet school-friendly.

At an event last week where he re-activated two state commissions on technology, the governor also declared Virginia the Digital Dominion, after earlier calling it the Internet capital of the world.

"It is a name by which we will be known," Mr. Gilmore said. "It is our people, the leadership of AOL and other great companies, and a partnership with government that really understands this industry and this opportunity for the people of America."

Digital Dominion is more than just a name, though. It's also now the governor's own Web site www.thedigitaldominion.com.

Yesterday's event at Broad Run High School showcased a part of the governor's new plan. Mr. Gilmore and Mr. Case demonstrated [email protected], a new service that provides filtered and focused materials for teachers to use in classrooms from kindergarten through high school.

The governor also pledged $3 million to help open 100 PowerUp centers, which will provide a supervised place for students to go after school to use computers.

Virginia was the first state to pass a uniform set of laws, commonly called the "rules of the road for the Internet," to make a better business climate for technology companies. And it was the first state to have a secretary of technology.

State Delegate Kenneth R. Plum, Fairfax Democrat, said the industry and the state are making the right moves. But he said one area the administration needs to work on is its own digital government efforts.

The Progress and Freedom Foundation ranks states on how well they use the Internet to make residents' lives easier. Virginia ranked high on how it coordinated its administration on line, but was in the middle of the pack on e-taxation, which measures how easy it is for residents to file taxes on line, and e-commerce, how easy it is for businesses to do commerce with the state over the Internet.

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