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NCITS Launches Online Store to Sell Low Cost Standards on the Net

NCITS Launches Online Store to Sell Low Cost Standards on the Net

WASHINGTON DC - - March 30, 1999 -- The National Committee for Information Technology Standards (NCITS) today used e-commerce to open a virtual store that will sell standards on-line and at a much lower cost. NCITS will eventually sell all of its standards electronically for $20 each, far cheaper than equivalent printed copies.

"Our goal is to make standards more affordable and available to the many people who need them to create new products and technologies," said Karen Higginbottom, Chair of NCITS. "Technology is constantly changing and as a result, we need to make standards easily accessible to engineers so that products can be designed to work together."

NCITS is the premier information technology standards developer in areas including C++, fiber channel, SQL database, multimedia and security. Its technical experts also work on the corresponding international IT standards, most of which are adopted by NCITS.

The NCITS online store is a joint venture with CSSinfo, an online provider of standards and technical specifications. CSSinfo, founded in 1994, is a leader in providing technical information services and Internet technology. CSSinfo's activities as an information provider and technology advocate have led to partnerships with hundreds of industry associations in over 60 countries.

"This new venture is a win for the technology community and a win for the many people in the academic field who rely on standards for research." said Michael Spring, Associate Professor of Information Science and Telecommunications at the University of Pittsburgh. "The high cost has made it difficult for many universities and colleges to build the comprehensive collections of standards needed to educate the next generation of information technology professional. The NCITS online store will give all institutions access to key information technology standards."

New NCITS standards will be available as they are approved for $20 in Portable Document Format (pdf). NCITS approves about 30 new standards every year. Older standards are available in hard copy at the original prices from the American National Standards Institute.

Another key feature is the availability of draft standards through the online store. "The pace of information technology is so fast that engineers often want access to the most recent proposals, " said Monica Vago, Manager of Standards Operations at NCITS. "We think one-stop shopping for approved standards and the newest drafts is what our customers need."

The store is being opened with 256 documents; 38 standards and 5 drafts are available for downloading today.

NCITS is sponsored by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). ITI is the association of leading U.S. providers of information technology products and services. It advocates growing the economy through innovation and supports free-market policies. ITI members had worldwide revenue of more than $440 billion in 1998 and employ more than 1.2 million people in the United States.

For further information about NCITS, contact Kate McMillan ( at 202-626-5742. For further information about CSSinfo, contact Andrew Bank ( at 734-930-9277.