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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 28, 1998


I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 3332, the "Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998." Building on the solid foundation of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991, this bill authorizes an ambitious new research program in advanced communication technologies that will be critical for assuring American prosperity, national and economic security, and international competitiveness in the 21st century.

Federal investment in computer networking technology and related fields spurred technological developments that have created new businesses and jobs; given powerful new tools to the research community; made it easier for citizens to participate in their government; allowed small businesses, remote communities, and people with disabilities to participate in the world economy; and improved the Nation's quality of life. The work launched by this bill will lead to even greater achievements.

Specifically, H.R. 3332 authorizes the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Institute of Standards and Technology to work with America's business and academic communities in an ambitious new research program. The role of the Department of Defense in this research has already been authorized in Public Law 105-261, which I signed on October 17, 1998. This research will lead to a new generation of Internet capabilities that will provide connections that are not only much faster, but also more reliable, secure, and high-quality. The next generation of the Internet will facilitate a range of unprecedented new services -- such as the ability to support tele-surgery and other medical services -- which require extremely high levels of reliability and protection.

The bill also authorizes an advanced "testbed" network that will link key Federal and university research centers. These testbeds will permit America's leading research teams to develop new Internet techniques and demonstrate how those techniques can advance a wide range of critical research initiatives.

This forward-looking legislation will help ensure that the Nation continues to support a balanced program of research in high-speed computers, communication systems, and the software necessary to put technology to practical use at work and at home.

Vice President Gore's vision and leadership led to the 1991 High-Performance Computing Act, and I want to thank him for the key role he has played in ensuring that research in this critical and fast-paced area is focused on the most important missions and is managed efficiently. This new legislation will build on that standard of excellence.


                                 THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                 October 28, 1998.