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Coalition targets the digital divide

As hard as it might seem to believe, not everyone spends all day on the internet. Actually, millions of people in the UK don't have access to the internet at all. 9.2 million adults in the UK are essentially offline, according to government research.

And now the government wants to do something about it. So they've launched a new scheme to provide low-cost PCs and internet service to less well-off people. Organised by employment group Remploy, the scheme will refurbish computers and sell them to people currently offline for just £98, including keyboard, mouse and monitor. The Government will also subsidise people's internet connections, getting them online for just £9 a month. There'll even be a dedicated hotline to help people get set up.

Lower cost is 'part of what helps people get online,' government 'digital champion' Martha Lane Fox says.

The scheme replaces one which gave laptops away free to schoolchildren, so it's a bit two steps forward and three steps back, really. But still, anything which gets more people onto Facebook is good, right? Right?

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