Feeds

Government to push PC rental for the poor

Half-baked plan to avoid creation of information underclass

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The government wants low income families to rent refurbished PCs so that they don't get left behind in the fast-moving Internet revolution, but they will still have to foot the bill for dial-up access to the Net. Addressing the UK Internet Summit today in London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, spoke of the government's determination for the UK not to miss out on the opportunities offered by the fast-emerging digital world. A central plank of today's speech was confirmation that 100,000 cheap-to-rent PCs would be made available to families on low incomes. Some reports have claimed that the cost of leasing a refurbished PC could be as little as £5 a month. "We will pioneer a system under which poorer individuals - sometimes through local partnerships - will be able to lease computers and software in the new century in the same way local libraries have loaned books in the last century," he said. In a speech littered with rhetoric, Gordon Brown said that new technology gives people the means to "break down the walls of division, and the barriers of isolation." "We could have a society divided between information haves and information have nots. A society with a wired up superclass and an information underclass. An economy geared to the needs of some parts of Britain but not the whole of Britain." The Chancellor dismissed claims made on BBC Radio 4's flagship news programme, Today, that the cost of dial-up phone access to the Net would prove too expensive for low-income users. Instead, he said the cost of telephone calls in Britain were "coming down in real terms" and he stuck limpet-like to the government's stated position that it was up to the marketplace and competition to bring down costs. In his speech today he said: "Already competition is forcing the price of Internet access down. BT are reviewing charges for Internet access. OFTEL will continue to ensure that competition drives down the cost of Internet access." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.