New Report on Internet Information Access Shows Montana is Way Behind the Nation

As the growth of the Internet has created a new medium that allows citizens to have truly full participation in our democracy, a new study by Common Cause Montana and Dr. Richard Wolff, from the Montana State University, shows that Montana is way behind the nation in the availability and functionality of interactive government web-based services. This finding is particularly evident in rural communities. The report also shows that internet access in Montana is costly and above the national averages for all categories of service.

“Montana’s more metropolitan areas are experiencing significant population and economic growth, and much of the growth in information access and on-line services is centered in these areas” said Dr. Richard Wolff with Montana State University.

“This study demonstrates that the rural and remote regions of the state are underserved and falling behind.”

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Decision-Makers Believe Next-Gen Web Portals Will Change How Government Does Business.

Next Government Portals to Offer More Mobility, Personalization and Simplicity

Nov 1, 2008, By Matt Williams, Assistant Editor

Government Web portals have come a long way since the early 1990s, when the main objective of the public sector’s first foray on the Internet was posting bare-bones text, such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

The latest iteration of the home page is a testament to the technological progress of the past 15 years. It’s a veritable playground for Web 2.0 connoisseurs: Links to podcasts, live help chat, really simple syndication (RSS) feeds and YouTube videos are featured prominently in an on-screen menu. It also offers alerts, traffic updates, weather conditions and a Flash menu of most popular online services, which include everything from fishing licenses to a dangerous dog registry.

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