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The Government has launched a campaign to get more people online by offering them the chance to test-drive the Internet for free.

The "Get Started" campaign - backed by outfits including BT, Microsoft and the BBC - runs until the end of June and gives people the chance to try out the Net at more than 8,000 centres.

In particular, the Government is keen to get older people, people with disabilities and those on low incomes to try out the technology.

In a statement the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, said: "The Get Started campaign is truly innovative and provides an excellent model for how we in Government should be working with the private and voluntary sectors. Together we will not allow the digital divide to grow."

Which is great news. For only last week the Countryside Agency warned that the lack of broadband in rural areas was creating a digital divide between town and country.

The report warned that the restricted access to broadband is putting rural businesses and residents at a disadvantage.

Surely, it is just a matter of time before Ms Hewitt turns her attention to this digital divide and resolves the matter. ®

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