Equipment

What kind of technical infrastructure do citizens and businesses need in order to take advantage of eGovernment?

One of the most important requirements in the action plan of the eEurope 2005 is the "eGovernment for all" mandate. In order to reach this goal, there needs to be an adequate IT Infrastructure available in each province.

In Austria, this is already the case: 65 percent of households have an Internet connection, 30 percent of which is a broadband connection. Even mobile broadband has become quite popular with 6 percent. Internet access is becoming more and more common. For businesses, a broadband or dedicated connection is regarded as standard. This technical base is necessary in order for eGovernment to work.

Multimedia terminal. Link opens picture in orginal size.

Access to electronic government services should be available for every citizen who wants to use it. For all those who do not have an Internet connection either at work or at home should be able to access the services using public terminals, like the Multimedia Stations from Telekom Austria (which have been installed country-wide in Austria as the next generation in telephone booths).

Currently there are over 850 Multimedia Stations Austria-wide. To give all Austrian citizens the opportunity to take part in the eGovernment experience, an initiative of the Federal Chancellery in cooperation with Telekom Austria was carried out in 2003 that made it possible for users to view Web sites that end with gv.at on these stations free-of-charge.

Even citizens who do not have their own Internet connection can use these terminals to conduct transactions with public authorities electronically.The improvements being made in eGovernment make it possible for more and more complex transactions to be offered, for example, those that ask you to confirm your identity or require your personal signature. For transactions that require you to uniquely identify yourself, the citizen card is the method of choice.