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Intel's Barrett says company made $2 billion from Net since July

Claims that Western Europe is lagging behind US

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Intel CEO Craig Barrett has used his visit to the UK to hit out at the high price of telecomms charges and a lack on behalf of the educational authorities to implement PC technology. Barrett, who later this afternoon is speaking at the House of Commons as part of a joint educational initiative with the University of Oxford, said that UK Internet access was over two and a half times the price of the US. He said that high charges would stifle the development of e-commerce. "The new rules are, instant access to information, 24 hours a day. This gives rise to a new form of competition," he said. "Small companies can act like big companies and big companies can act like small companies." He said that estimates of Internet world trade by the year 2002 currently stood at between $450 billion and $500 billion, but he said those figures were conservative. Intel, he said, had started a pilot scheme in July and had already turned over $2 billion of revenues. That, he expected, would amount to $20 billion next year. "There are substantially higher charges here [in the UK] than in the US," he said. "The UK is about two and a half times more expensive. The lower the charges, the more access there is. Telecom charges need to come down in Western Europe." Barrett added that penetration of the US market for PCs was around 50 per cent, and that gave Europe more opportunity for growth. But, he said: "Young people are one of the big driving factors for PCs in the States." That was because their parents understood the importance of the Internet to education, he said. Educational authorities in Western Europe had not got that message yet. ®

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