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Critically Assess Government Policy on 'Bridging the Digital Divide' in U.K - Essay Example

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Critically assess government policy on ‘bridging the digital divide’ in Britain 1. Introduction During the last decade, the involvement of technology in various aspects of social and economic life has been increased under the influence of globalisation…
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Critically Assess Government Policy on Bridging the Digital Divide in U.K
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Download file to see previous pages However, the relevant measures are often proved as inadequate; delays and failures are reported when trying to apply such policies in practices. Current paper focuses on the efforts of the British government to ‘bridge the digital divide’ so that the quality of services in the country’s private and public sector to be improved, since these services are highly based on ICTs. The aspects of this effort are analysed below. The review of the plans that the British government has promoted in this field has led to the following assumption: the effort of the British government ‘to bridge the digital divide’ can be characterized as successful, at least up to now. In accordance with a relevant report, the expansion of online services could lead to savings of about ? 1.3b each year (France 2011). However, in the future, the effectiveness of these plans would be in risk, taking into consideration the continuous advances of technology and the level of resources required for the realization of the relevant schemes. 2. Bridging the digital divide in Britain – governmental policy In order to understand the effectiveness of the efforts of the British government ‘to bridge the digital divide’ across the country, it would be necessary to understand the context of the specific effort. The phrase ‘bridging the digital divide’ reflects the efforts required for covering gaps in regard to the use of ICTs within a particular country. Most commonly, these gaps are covered through a series of initiatives focusing on different aspects of the use of ICTs. For example, emphasis is given on the physical access to online centres, the availability of appropriate Internet connection, the development of computer skills of people of different ages, the elimination of inequalities in regard to the access to ICTs and the development of effective e-government schemes in accordance with the sources available and the targets set, either in the short or the long term. The efforts of the British government to ‘bridge the digital divide’ have been based on the avoidance of complex ICTs; by choosing ICTs which are easy to be managed and flexible, as of their potentials and their needs, the British government tries to increase the efficiency of its online services which have been characterized by difficulties as of their access and failures as of their performance (Cabinet Office 2011). The British government’s new strategy in regard to the promotion of ICTs across the country is presented in Graph 1 (Appendix). It is clear that the country’s government has set different priorities, compared to the past, for improving its online services. Simplicity and high speed have been preferred instead of complexity, since in this way the following target is achieved: the level of ICTs in the public sector of Britain is standardized, a fact that helps people to understand easier the use of ICTs for accessing the country’s public sector. 2.1 Measures for supporting physical access The physical access to online services requires that online centres across UK are increased, in terms of their number. In this way, people in all regions will be able to access the government’s online services. At the same time, the quality of broadband services available in online centres in Britain should be improved, leading to the increase of the number of customers. Since problems are often reported across the countr ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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