The British government is being encouraged by one of its ministers to take advantage of digital television when delivering services.

Douglas Alexander, minister for the Cabinet Office and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has launched a policy framework titled Digital Television, in which he calls on the state to exploit the rapid growth of the medium to improve communication with citizens.

"Digital television presents a wealth of opportunities to improve the way government services are delivered and used," declared Alexander. "We must harness this potential to effectively interact with the citizen and deliver services that they need in a way they want."

The government has experimented with digital TV projects already, including initiatives by the Department of Health and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. It plans to offer all services electronically by 2005 and to extend these services to those without access to a PC.

Some 45% of British households now access digital broadcasts. The government hopes penetration will be high enough by 2010 to switch off analogue TV signals.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff