NAG to offer free calls for low income families

Is this the missing piece of the government's PC rental scheme?

North American Gateway (NAG) -- the Canadian telco behind a too-good-to-be-true, no-strings-attached 0800 Internet service due out on Monday -- has said it is willing to provide toll-free access to the Net for low-income families. A spokesman for the company told The Register this morning that he was busy trying to get in touch with the relevant government department to discuss the offer. He'd heard that the government was about to make a formal announcement on the issue. Obviously not one to miss a trick, he said: "We're keen to help." Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, today announced that 100,000 low-income families would be able to rent cheap PCs so they could hook up to the Internet. The drawback for many, though, will be the always-on cost of dial-up access. Callnet0800 -- backed by NAG -- appears happy to absorb the cost of access in return for people using its discounted to make voice calls. Time will tell whether NAG proves to be a thoroughbred among ISPs or an old carthorse destined for the knacker's yard. ®

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