Feeds

Online government services would exclude many Welsh

Keep counters open if you ever want to see Dr Who again

Security for virtualized datacentres

One in three people in Wales could get left behind as public services move online, according to a new report.

Almost a third of the Welsh don't have an internet connection at home, the Bevan Foundation found (43-page/344KB PDF) - excluding them from online services.

"The UK government says public services should be "digital by default" – it is already pressing ahead with plans to put new benefit claims online in two years' time. The Welsh government is exploring how to put public services online as well," said Victoria Winckler, director of the think-tank.

"People who are offline already miss out on cheaper goods and services and information about everything from health conditions to train times, and they are also at risk of being excluded from vital public services," she added.

According to the Office of National Statistics, 8.73 million adults in the UK have never used the internet, mainly because of age, economic circumstances, location or disability.

"There is a real problem because the people who rely most on public services are the least likely to use the internet," Winckler said.

The survey did find that the web was available to people without an internet connection, mostly in libraries, but pointed out that users are then restricted to the library's opening hours and any rules they might have on what sites can be accessed.

"There needs to be better public access to the internet, and support and training in using computers," said Winckler.

Bevan also said that a lot of the services that are already online in Wales weren't very user-friendly.

"Online services need to be carefully thought through and tested with users to make sure they work, use ordinary language and are easy to navigate," Winckler said.

The report called for a commitment from the Welsh government that when services did go online, it would still keep an offline means of access. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.