Feeds

Ofcom finds few using e-gov

Online services? Meh

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The communications regulator has found that fewer than half the UK population have used online government services.

In a report published on 20 March 2009, Ofcom says that 42 per cent of those interviewed had used the internet to search for information about government or local council services, or used online services such as paying for road tax or registering for Child Tax Credits. Among people who have the internet at home, this figure rises to 55 per cent.

Of the people surveyed living in areas of "multiple deprivation", defined by factors including economic, social and housing issues, only 15 per cent said they have used online information or services.

The report points to a lack of awareness of what can be done online, including getting in touch with a local council or contacting a member of Parliament. Of those interviewed, 31 per cent said they were unaware of the online services available to them. The figure rises to 72 per cent for those in deprived areas.

Trust and confidence are also issues. 46 per cent of respondents from areas of multiple deprivation did not trust the internet for civic activities, and 40 per cent lacked the confidence to use online public services.

Across all those interviewed, nine per cent said they lacked confidence to participate in public service activities online and the same proportion agreed that they did not sufficiently trust the internet for public services.

Michael Larner, senior analyst at Kable, said: "Although the report is encouraging in some ways, it is also symptomatic of the continuing digital divide. Local authorities need to juggle online and face to face engagements with citizens in order to deliver appropriate types of service."

Ofcom questioned a national representative sample of 2,069 adults aged 16 years and over for a UK general population survey; 2,003 adults in the UK who have internet access for its online user survey and 100 adults living in selected areas of deprivation, including Townhill in Wales, Belfast, Rochdale and Hackney in east London.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?