Members of the Electronic Commerce Task Force adopted six goals for the upcoming legislative session Monday, including a recommendation by its chair, Rep. Fred Perry, R-Tulsa, to expand the bandwidth of Internet connections available in Oklahoma. "I've been concerned because of calls I've received from constituents about the lack of speed of getting on the Internet," said Perry.
Broader bandwidth is considered essential for electronic commerce purposes.
The lawmaker said something must be done to help remove Oklahoma from its designation as one of the "Disconnected Dozen," states which have fewer Internet backbone hubs than others per capita. "We're going into a global Internet economy," Perry said.
Every 98 days, he said, the e-commerce economy doubles, with more than $3.3 billion in transactions creating 1.2 million jobs last year alone. He said that it has been estimated that 56 percent of businesses will be selling their products on the Internet by next year, and that by 2002 the total electronic commerce economy may hit $1.2 trillion.
"It's growing at an unbelievable rate," Perry said. "We haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to business-to- business electronic commerce." An infrastructure must be in place to support that growth and Oklahoma's participation in that economy, he added.
Steve Wilt, with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said that as part of its review of alternative regulation of telecommunications, the regulatory panel is trying to determine the state of Oklahoma's existing infrastructure. However, he said it has been somewhat difficult thus far to collect this data. It is important for Oklahoma to have a clear idea of what it lacks in this area, said Rep. Abe Deutschendorf, D-Lawton, if it is to determine what it needs to upgrade the system.
The task force also heard a report from Sen. Glenn Coffee, R- Oklahoma City, on two uniform statutes dealing with electronic commerce, the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act. …