Headlines: September 26th, 2003

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister wants to set up twelve clusters of councils and regional development authorities to pilot the use of interactive digital TV. The clusters will be chosen to represent a cross-country selection with different service delivery and population requirements. The DigiTV (Digital Interactive Television) programme will seek to demonstrate that DiTV is a viable channel for the delivery of local government services. It will also contribute to improving public services and support the renewal of local democracy.The ODPM believes that Interactive DiTV can provide an almost universal platform in which citizens can interact with local and national public services using a user-friendly medium. It offers an opportunity to bridge the digital divide between the information rich who have Internet access and the information poor who do not. The new services should increase citizen interaction with councils and tackle social exclusion by developing an easily understood user interface and a discrete method of content delivery. It is also planned to develop links between DiTV and the Internet. This aligns closely with priority areas in eGov@local the national strategy.

The learning gained from earlier DiTV projects under the LGOL Pathfinder, Invest to Save and other DiTV projects provides a basic foundation for the programme.

Councils involved in earlier projects, including Kirklees, Somerset, Suffolk, Knowsley and Hillingdon will play a leading role in the programme.

In addition to the ODPM key players in the programme will be Office of the e-Envoy, UK Online, DTI, DoH, IDeA and LGA. Private sector involvement will include hardware and middleware providers including NTL, Telewest and Sky.

The outcomes from the programme will be available to Scottish and Welsh councils.
Link: http://www.digitv.org.uk/.