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The land of white stilettos is to receive free Internet connections as part of a government drive to get Brits wired.

The Essex housing authority is looking for quotes from suppliers who fancy the contract. It wants to include between 250 and 5000 homes in the scheme, which will connect tenants to the Net through their tellys.

The business from the Swan Housing Group is up grabs on the Website of Cardiff-based Acequote.com. The company reckons an increasing number of government organisations are using this form of online bidding to secure quotes for contracts.

Last month the government announced it was to give out 35,000 PCs, at a cost of £10 million, to the most cash-strapped areas of the country.

Just one in 20 of Britain's poorest families has an Internet connection. ®

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