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A digitally United Kingdom

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The Cabinet Office this week published Enabling a Digitally United Kingdom, a report by the Digital Inclusion Panel (DIP), which explores ways of bridging the 'digital divide'.

Digital inclusion means having access to facilities that enable people to 'transact electronically'. The DIP report defines those most at risk of digital exclusion as the unemployed, people with 'literacy issues' and old age pensioners. It recommends that Intellect, the IT industry trade body, assembles a group to discuss the impact of the convergence of broadcasting, telecommunications, broadband and the internet on digital engagement in the UK.

In response, Intellect yesterday launched the Digital Convergence Council. This is "designed to cut across traditional broadcast and telecommunications industry barriers, to enable the converged digital industry to understand the new trends shaping the marketplace, to inform the digital debate, and to ultimately inform Government's policy development process."

Intellect welcomes the DIP report and "considers its publication to be an important step towards increased digital engagement of citizens throughout the UK".

This week also saw the launch of the Alliance for Digital Inclusion, a group of private and voluntary sector organisations including Citizens Online, AOL UK, BT, Intel UK, Microsoft UK, T-Mobile, Cisco Systems UK, IBM UK. This will promote the use of ICT for social benefit, as the DIP report recommends. ®

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