The government launched a £10m contest on Friday to encourage local authorities to use technology to deliver public services.
Local authorities will compete in regional 'heats' to win the opportunity to represent their region in the competition. Each regionally nominated community will receive £100,000 to develop their bids, with the winning bid awarded £10m to implement their idea.
Ideas being considered for the competition include: doctors examining patients remotely through the use of video cameras in the patient's home; children collaborating on homework remotely via the Web; online access to real-time local crime reports to help find any patterns in criminal activity; and the use of IT to set up micro-businesses, according to The Guardian.
50 percent of the £10m prize will come from public funding, with the additional funds being donated by the private sector, according to a Department of Trade and Industry spokesman.
The government also published plans to allow all pupils to access computers at home through a low cost laptop and home PC leasing scheme.