Feeds

Online government services would exclude many Welsh

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.