A new report published by communications watchdog OFCOM, has found 48 per cent of rural areas receive less than 10 Mbps, with one in five receiving less than 5 Mbps.

The Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm), which represents IT practitioners in the public sector, has criticised the Spending Review for being too Whitehall focused.

NHS England has confirmed plans to create a new chief information and technology officer (CITO) role to manage and develop the organisation’s information and technology agenda to take over from outgoing national director for patients and information, Tim Kelsey.

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Spending Review that the Government Digital Service (GDS) will receive £450 million funding over the course of this Parliament.

G-Cloud 7 has gone live on the Digital Marketplace, in line with government plans to better streamline the procurement of technology-focused services.

The Centre for Economic and Research (CER) has published a report named ‘The economic impact of Basic Digital Skills and inclusion in the UK, 2015’, which claims there are ’huge’ productivity benefits in equipping adults with digital skills.

The London Boroughs of Brent and Lewisham have approved plans to create a joint ICT function, aimed at saving millions of pounds in revenue costs.

Essex County Council has begun investigations into the creation of a data sharing platform, aimed at improving health, education, social and economic outcomes.

The government has issued a £35 million tender, aimed at aiding the 10.5 million disenfranchised UK citizens who lack basic digital skills and are unable to access digital government services independently.

The Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE) has announced it will work with the government to help them use ‘cryptocurrencies’ such as Bitcoin to transform services.

A portal to share open data between public sector bodies in Europe has been enabled.

Security firm Sophos is set to demonstrate new techniques to deal with sophisticated threats in an approaching webcast session, open to public sector staff.

Home Secretary Theresa May has committed to undertake ‘full scrutiny’ of the proposed Surveillance Bill before being laid before Parliament next Spring, with the deadline remaining despite the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November.

Research conducted by Vodafone has found that companies are worried they will be left behind in the digital evolution.

According to Phil Rumens, vice-chair of digital practitioner network LocalGov Digital, creating and implementing a single platform for local government websites would cost billions in upfront costs, reopening the discussion on whether the platform is feasible.

Research conducted by iGov has found that 39 per cent of local authorities are seriously considering investing in e-invoicing within the next year.

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