The Act, introduced by then-senator Al Gore (and commonly referred to as "The Gore Bill"), was passed to enhance the effectiveness of ongoing high-performance computing programs of various federal agencies. This law led to the creation of the Federal High-Performance Computing and Communications Program (HPCC). The current National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program is the successor to the HPCC Program but, as the name implies, has a broader definition.
The Act allotted $600,000 for the creation of a National Research and Education Network.
Among other requirements, the Act called for the following:
- Setting goals and priorities for federal high-performance computing research, development, and networking.
- Providing for the technical support and research and development of high-performance computing software and hardware needed to address fundamental problems in science and engineering.
- Educating undergraduate and graduate students.
- Fostering and maintaining competition and private sector investment in high-speed data networking within the telecommunications industry.
- Promoting the development of commercial data communications and telecommunications standards.
- Providing security, including protecting intellectual property rights.
- Developing accounting mechanisms allowing users to be charged for the use of copyrighted materials.
- Parts of the chapter have also been given other popular names: the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998 and the Department of Energy High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004.
- Federal Plan for High-End Computing, at 4 n.3.
- The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities, at 5.