£98 PC and broadband package to lessen digital divide
17th Jan 2011 | 10:17
Refurbished computers the answer
Martha Lane Fox has outlined a digital inclusion scheme that will see refurbished computers sold for less than £100.
The UK's digital tsar intends to lessen the country's digital divide by offering computing packages including PC and telephone for just £98.
Although many Brits can't imagine life without broadband internet, there are still around 9 million UK adults without access to high-speed web browsing.
Remploy, a social enterprise company which aims to help 30,000 disabled people into mainstream work every year, is selling and refurbishing the PCs alongside 60 online centres.
"We have an opportunity here in the UK to make sure we are achieving internet skills and usage as high as TV usage," Martha Lane Fox said.
"We should be using our old computers and refurbishing them to close the gap in this country."
Recent research from Microsoft found that over 30 million unused PCs are lying around in attics and store cupboards in UK homes; this scheme could see the legacy equipment put to good use.
As part of Lane Fox's Race Online 2012 initiative, the £98 PC scheme is currently at pilot stage but is intended to be extended across the UK.
The new scheme is reminiscent of overseas computing projects for developing countries, including OLPC which aims to provide low-cost laptops to schools and refurbished PC provider Computer Aid International.