Blair wires up poor, huddled masses

A whopping £10m for bridging Digital Divide

The Government is to chuck £10 million at a scheme to wire-up deprived areas in England. Housing estates, tower blocks and rural areas will be earmarked for the digital investment providing their own "community Web" with access to government, job, health and education services. So far, no areas have been selected to take part in the pilot. Neither do those behind the project know how it will be rolled out. Apparently, that's why it's a pilot scheme. Apparently. According to Government spinsters, the initiative would help "enhance their (those people who live in these deprived areas) lives using new technology." The pilots will be up and running from the end of 2001. Elsewhere, CallNet has struck a deal with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to offer fixed line telephone services and totally free Net access to its eight million members through Union Energy -- a company formed by the TUC. Last month the TUC issued a report urging employers to do more to get workers online. ® Related Story TUC wants Internet at work for all

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