Feeds

Online government services would exclude many Welsh

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

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.