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BT must be tickled pink

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The government has announced a £50 million programme to kick-start the roll out of high-speed links to the Internet in schools and other learning institutions. Education and Employment Secretary, David Blunkett, said: "There is now an opportunity for local education authorities, in partnership with other agencies, to form regional consortia and submit innovative proposals for the introduction of broadband services for schools and other learning institutions." As part of the Government's National Grid for Learning (NGfL) BT would be a major beneficiary of any investment in ADSL access in schools and other places of learning. So, great news for BT -- and all revealed on the very day BT said it was extending its cut-price Net access scheme to libraries, colleges and other public institutions. Of course, any suggestion that was any form of backroom horse trading between Whitehall mandarins and BT spin doctors -- that BT "gave" cheaper calls to worthy public institutions in return for government money in its broadband service -- will not be tolerated at The Register. ®

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