Recently, Lt. Gov. Heidemann and I had the opportunity to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission. The mission of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission is to make Nebraska’s information technology infrastructure more accessible and responsive to the needs of its citizens, regardless of location, while making investments in government, education, health care and other services more efficient and cost effective.
In Nebraska, it is vital that we prioritize the accessibility of information and technology to all communities, rural and urban. Through this effort, all Nebraskans can benefit from advances in the communication sector.
Throughout the past 15 years, the Nebraska Information Technology Commission has made considerable progress.
I would like to highlight a few that are saving money and improving access to services and the quality of life that Nebraskans enjoy.
• Statewide network called Network Nebraska which was established by the Nebraska Information Technology Commission to share resources and contracts between eligible governmental and educational entities to increase efficiencies and cost effectiveness. Today, in addition to state agencies, 260 educational entities are participating in Network Nebraska sharing 400 high school and college video distance learning classes. This allows numerous benefits and educational opportunities for students.
• Statewide Telehealth Network which connects 110 sites across the State. The Nebraska Health information Initiative covers more than 50 percent of the hospital beds in Nebraska, with over 2.3 million patients in the system and connects over 3,000 health care providers.
• Watch debates on the floor of the Unicameral from the comfort of your home, or be front row with me at announcements and press events in the governor’s office through the Nebraska Information Technology Commission web-streaming. Available on computers and mobile devices, web-streaming gives real-time unprecedented access to events at the state Capitol. Come “sit in” on Supreme Court proceedings or testimonies before legislative committees and benefit from a new level of transparency in Nebraska government.
• Email consolidation for all of state government, saving money and helping improve the system’s security. Consolidated IT purchasing has also provided millions of dollars of savings over these 15 years. For example, in 2003 the state started purchasing internet in conjunction with higher education, at a price of $800 per megabit per month. Through continued partnering with additional eligible entities, our purchasing power has brought that cost down to a 2012 price of $2.50 per megabit per month. This provides a savings to both government and education as our purchases have increased from .3 gigabits per month in 2008 to 10.7 gigabits per month in 2013.
The key to the success of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission is based on its structure of collaboration and inclusiveness.
In addition to the nine members that comprise the commission, there are five councils and one panel: the Community Council, the Education Council, the eHealth Council, the Geographic Information System Council, the State Government Council and the Technical Panel.
These six entities have 123 members total that provide input and advice to the NITC; they represent various communities of interest to ensure that the NITC mission is met.
Over the past 15 years, the Nebraska Information Technology Commission has had over 100 people serve on the Commission and six Councils each and every month.
If you would like to read more about the work of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, please visit: www.nitc.ne.gov.