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Abstract

The paper presents an initial stage of a modest empirical study of the web sites run by a set of Polish self-governmental authorities of a definite level. The study, which is an on-going effort, is carried out according to the standard WAES methodology. The region, for which the study is being carried out, is characterised shortly, and the proper results are reported as seen in various aspects. The conclusions drawn refer to (1) the developments in the domain (quantity and quality); (2) the importance attached by the self-governmental units; and (3) the potential effectiveness in promoting the development of rural areas. It is shown that the local administrative authorities, even if starting with a definite delay, are effectively catching up in terms of both presence and the range of information and service provided. Although there is still quite a way to go regarding deeper functionality of the web services oriented at the development of rural areas, the current situation looks promising. The paper ends with a summary evaluation and indication of some prospective directions of work, both in web-based functionality and related research.

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