Only One-Third of Americans Say Businesses and Government Are Adequately Addressing the Digital Divide

While Internet Usage Increases, Survey Shows Americans Need More Training For

Basic Computer Software Usage



EDS Survey Takes Nation's Temperature on Digital Divide a Year After President

Clinton Challenged Corporate America to Address Issue



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Electronic Data Systems Corporation

    CHICAGO, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- COMDEX CHICAGO 2001 -- A year after
 President Clinton challenged corporate America to address the issue, only one-
 third of Americans believe businesses and government are adequately addressing
 the so-called "digital divide" between the country's computer-age haves and
 have-nots.
     In a survey commissioned by leading global services firm EDS (NYSE:   EDS),
 respondents ranked corporate America (35 percent) as slightly more effective
 in addressing the digital divide than non-profit organizations (33 percent) or
 the federal government (27 percent).  However, respondents without online
 access say non-profit organizations (28 percent) and the federal government
 (27 percent) are more effective in addressing the issue than corporate America
 (25 percent), while those with online access say corporate America (41
 percent) is more effective in addressing the issue than non-profit
 organizations (36 percent) or the federal government (27 percent).
     "Those who lack access to the Internet -- and the resources necessary to
 utilize its benefits -- are at a growing disadvantage in education, economic
 advancement and job training," said Tom Mattia, vice president of Global
 Communications and Community Affairs for Plano, Texas-based EDS.  "This survey
 underscores the need to create additional digital opportunities by increasing
 the number of Americans using computers and the Internet -- it's an important
 goal for information technology companies."
     On steps companies can take to overcome the digital divide, respondents
 rated donating time, money and equipment to schools (82 percent); providing
 scholarships for those interested in pursuing technical degrees (74 percent);
 providing classroom training for basic Internet and computer software usage
 (71 percent); participating in job shadowing programs where students spend
 time at local corporations to learn about specific jobs (66 percent); and
 participating in computer refurbishment programs (51 percent) as "very
 important."
     Of the two potential basic solutions mentioned most often for companies to
 address the digital divide, the national survey found 47 percent of
 respondents believe increasing training for basic computer software usage is
 more effective in addressing the digital divide than increasing access to
 computers and the Internet (35 percent).  A smaller number of respondents --
 11 percent -- believe both are equally effective.
 
     Clinton's Challenge
     The issue of the digital divide -- or the gap between the technology haves
 and have-nots -- has been studied by a number of public and private
 organizations, and was the subject of President Clinton's keynote address to
 COMDEX Spring attendees in April 2000 in Chicago.  Re-named COMDEX Chicago
 2001 for this year, the IT industry event kicks off today in Chicago.
     According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in October
 2000, there are more than 116 million Americans online, and more than half of
 all households in the U.S. own a computer.  While this number is impressive,
 it does suggest that while there are approximately 140 million Americans with
 computers, there are an equal number without them.
     A report by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in Washington found
 "greater home usage of the Internet by more highly educated and wealthier
 individuals ... compared with the general U.S. population, Internet users were
 more likely to be white and well educated."  This suggests that while the
 growth rate of computer and Internet use continues to rise, it does not rise
 proportionally across all populations and geographies.  Complicating factors
 include lack of broadband access in rural communities, poor wiring in older
 inner-city residential buildings and lack of computer equipment due to low
 household income.
     "EDS' commitment to the JASON Project and Chicago's Time Dollar Institute
 are a few examples of how EDS is meeting the challenge," Mattia said.  "But
 the survey says that public and private entities need to continue efforts to
 bring the Internet to all Americans -- we all need to work together to do
 more."
     Summaries of data from the survey are available to the news media by
 submitting a written request to amy.benkoske@edelman.com.
 
     About EDS
     EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy,
 implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology
 complexities of the digital economy.  EDS brings together the world's best
 technologies to address critical client business imperatives.  It helps
 clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their
 customers' trust and continuously seek improvement.  EDS, with its management-
 consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world's leading companies and
 governments in 55 countries.  EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000.
 The company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London
 Stock Exchange.
 
                                  ATTACHMENT A
 
     Methodology
     EDS commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct this survey via telephone
 within the United States between March 22-26, 2001, among a nationwide cross
 section of 1,011 adults.  Figures for age, sex, race, education, number of
 adults and number of voice/telephone lines in the household were weighted
 where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the
 population.
     In theory, one can expect that 95% of surveys with samples of this size
 would produce results that were within plus or minus 3 percentage points of
 what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled using the
 same methods.  Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of
 error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical
 calculations of sampling error.  They include refusals to be interviewed (non-
 response), question wording and question order, interviewer bias, weighting by
 demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters).  It is
 difficult or impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these
 factors.
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
      CONTACT:
      Amy Benkoske
      Edelman on behalf of EDS
      (312) 297-7587
      amy.benkoske@edelman.com
 
 

SOURCE Electronic Data Systems Corporation
    CHICAGO, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- COMDEX CHICAGO 2001 -- A year after
 President Clinton challenged corporate America to address the issue, only one-
 third of Americans believe businesses and government are adequately addressing
 the so-called "digital divide" between the country's computer-age haves and
 have-nots.
     In a survey commissioned by leading global services firm EDS (NYSE:   EDS),
 respondents ranked corporate America (35 percent) as slightly more effective
 in addressing the digital divide than non-profit organizations (33 percent) or
 the federal government (27 percent).  However, respondents without online
 access say non-profit organizations (28 percent) and the federal government
 (27 percent) are more effective in addressing the issue than corporate America
 (25 percent), while those with online access say corporate America (41
 percent) is more effective in addressing the issue than non-profit
 organizations (36 percent) or the federal government (27 percent).
     "Those who lack access to the Internet -- and the resources necessary to
 utilize its benefits -- are at a growing disadvantage in education, economic
 advancement and job training," said Tom Mattia, vice president of Global
 Communications and Community Affairs for Plano, Texas-based EDS.  "This survey
 underscores the need to create additional digital opportunities by increasing
 the number of Americans using computers and the Internet -- it's an important
 goal for information technology companies."
     On steps companies can take to overcome the digital divide, respondents
 rated donating time, money and equipment to schools (82 percent); providing
 scholarships for those interested in pursuing technical degrees (74 percent);
 providing classroom training for basic Internet and computer software usage
 (71 percent); participating in job shadowing programs where students spend
 time at local corporations to learn about specific jobs (66 percent); and
 participating in computer refurbishment programs (51 percent) as "very
 important."
     Of the two potential basic solutions mentioned most often for companies to
 address the digital divide, the national survey found 47 percent of
 respondents believe increasing training for basic computer software usage is
 more effective in addressing the digital divide than increasing access to
 computers and the Internet (35 percent).  A smaller number of respondents --
 11 percent -- believe both are equally effective.
 
     Clinton's Challenge
     The issue of the digital divide -- or the gap between the technology haves
 and have-nots -- has been studied by a number of public and private
 organizations, and was the subject of President Clinton's keynote address to
 COMDEX Spring attendees in April 2000 in Chicago.  Re-named COMDEX Chicago
 2001 for this year, the IT industry event kicks off today in Chicago.
     According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in October
 2000, there are more than 116 million Americans online, and more than half of
 all households in the U.S. own a computer.  While this number is impressive,
 it does suggest that while there are approximately 140 million Americans with
 computers, there are an equal number without them.
     A report by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) in Washington found
 "greater home usage of the Internet by more highly educated and wealthier
 individuals ... compared with the general U.S. population, Internet users were
 more likely to be white and well educated."  This suggests that while the
 growth rate of computer and Internet use continues to rise, it does not rise
 proportionally across all populations and geographies.  Complicating factors
 include lack of broadband access in rural communities, poor wiring in older
 inner-city residential buildings and lack of computer equipment due to low
 household income.
     "EDS' commitment to the JASON Project and Chicago's Time Dollar Institute
 are a few examples of how EDS is meeting the challenge," Mattia said.  "But
 the survey says that public and private entities need to continue efforts to
 bring the Internet to all Americans -- we all need to work together to do
 more."
     Summaries of data from the survey are available to the news media by
 submitting a written request to amy.benkoske@edelman.com.
 
     About EDS
     EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy,
 implementation and hosting for clients managing the business and technology
 complexities of the digital economy.  EDS brings together the world's best
 technologies to address critical client business imperatives.  It helps
 clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their
 customers' trust and continuously seek improvement.  EDS, with its management-
 consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world's leading companies and
 governments in 55 countries.  EDS reported revenues of $19.2 billion in 2000.
 The company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London
 Stock Exchange.
 
                                  ATTACHMENT A
 
     Methodology
     EDS commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct this survey via telephone
 within the United States between March 22-26, 2001, among a nationwide cross
 section of 1,011 adults.  Figures for age, sex, race, education, number of
 adults and number of voice/telephone lines in the household were weighted
 where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the
 population.
     In theory, one can expect that 95% of surveys with samples of this size
 would produce results that were within plus or minus 3 percentage points of
 what they would be if the entire adult population had been polled using the
 same methods.  Unfortunately, there are several other possible sources of
 error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical
 calculations of sampling error.  They include refusals to be interviewed (non-
 response), question wording and question order, interviewer bias, weighting by
 demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters).  It is
 difficult or impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these
 factors.
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
      CONTACT:
      Amy Benkoske
      Edelman on behalf of EDS
      (312) 297-7587
      amy.benkoske@edelman.com
 
 SOURCE  Electronic Data Systems Corporation