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Mobile friendly: Government on the go – The Union Leader


December 27. 2017 12:09AM

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Every once in a while, just as we are convinced that bipartisanship is dead on Capitol Hill, a Republican and a Democrat will come together to revive our faint hopes.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, recently teamed with Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner on the Connected Government Act, which cleared the Senate last week, and is on its way to the White House for the President’s signature.

The law will mandate that federal agencies update their websites to be mobile-friendly. It will require the new sites to be up and running within 180 days. The launch of the Obamacare website warns us to anticipate a few fits and starts along the way.

Hassan’s bill builds on a 2016 memo from the Office of Management and Budget calling on federal agencies to design websites that perform as well on mobile devices as on desktop computers. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will launch a new mobile platform this spring for families to fill out the federal student aid application.

A March report found 59 percent of federal websites were mobile-friendly, but just 36 percent passed a mobile page speed test. Websites need to work on the mobile devices an increasing number of Americans use for online access. Ten percent of Americans only access the internet with a smartphone.

We salute anything that makes government more accessible. Kudos to Hassan and Gardner.


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