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In brief .... 28 August 2015



GDS tests status tracking

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has begun to work with service teams on testing hypotheses around its status tracking platform.

This is part of its discovery work on notifications and enabling people to track the status of their requests to government. A blogpost said the GDS is already working with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Land Registry and the Department of Work and Pensions, and plans to collaborate with others.

Status tracking is an element of the Government as a Platform programme. The aim is to produce an online platform for the relevant processes that can be re-used by digital teams in departments and agencies.

“This gives us an opportunity to improve people’s interaction with government and avoid millions of unnecessary phone calls and letters,” the GDS said.


Scotland boosts rural broadband

The Scottish Government has set up a £9 million funding programme to support the rolling out of broadband into rural areas.

It will be used to support community-led projects and is part of the £1.3 billion Scottish Rural Development Programme.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This SRDP funding will help communities in the hardest to reach broadband areas follow in the footsteps of the pioneering GigaPlus Argyll project, and work together to bring superfast services to homes and businesses.

“This scheme takes the available funding for community broadband projects up to £16.5 million in Scotland, over and above the £400 million DSSB investment.”

The GigaPlus Argyll project has involved a group of hard-to-reach communities on Scotland’s west coast coming together to procure superfast broadband services from commercial providers.


Argyll schoolchildren get smart tickets

Transport Scotland has replaced paper travel passes for schoolchildren in Argyll and Bute with a new Saltire card loaded with smart tickets. It is also enabling children who do get free travel to load the card with West Coast Motors e-tickets.

It said it will make it easier for pupils to use while reducing administrative overheads and producing better planning information.

The move follows a successful pilot in October of last year. The cards will be made available to more than 1,200 pupils in six schools.

Keith Brown, the Scottish cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, said: “The use of smart technology to enable one card to fulfil many purposes forms part of Transport Scotland’s long term vision for all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks to be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.”


NetSupport upgrades classroom software for Windows 10

A new version of NetSupport School software for classroom management has been released to coincide with the availability of Microsoft Windows 10.

It includes a Teacher’s Launchpad feature that facilitates remotely launching cloud based Office Mix presentations, OneNote and any other online curriculum content onto students’ screens. It also integrates with the new Microsoft Edge browser, and comes with a new Teacher app to help manage classrooms.

NetSupport’s managing director, Al Kingsley, said: “With so much new for schools in Windows 10, we wanted to complement the additional functionality and resources provided, so the new Teacher app has been designed to specifically help orchestrate the classroom, from remotely launching Microsoft Office 365 apps on all student tablets, to delivering documents and lesson resources to the class.”


Fujitsu acquires ACT

Fujitsu has taken over digital ticketing company Acquired Card Technologies as part of its expansion into the transport sector.

It follows the recent announcement that it will work with transport company Arrive to install the UK rail industry’s first smartphone based ticket issuing system. ACT’s technology will expand this side of Fujitsu’s business, combining the ticketing with transaction processing, customer relationship management and data analytics.


Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0


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