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Digital Inclusion Strategy Seeks to Connect the Unconnected

Posted: 30th Apr, 2008 By: MarkJ
It's a well known fact that over 50% of UK households have some form of Internet connection; while over 90% of all connections are broadband based (Office of National Statistics). However, there has long been a hardcore group of roughly 17 million people that still do not have access to either a computer or the Internet.

Many have tried and failed to plug the gap, which usually occurs among the poorest, eldest, geographically disadvantaged and least technologically aware in society. Now the government’s minister for digital inclusion, Paul Murphy, is drawing up a new plan:

"The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I didn't need to be technical at all. It also became pretty obvious the enormity of the work," he told delegates at the National Digital Inclusion Conference in London.

"We came up with the following mission statement: To co-ordinate policies and a coherent strategy that all citizens, especially the disadvantaged, can benefit from new technologies," he told the conference.

Jim Knight, minister for schools and learners, also had an ambitious target for his Children, Schools and Families department. "Our aim is to get access to every household with a child aged between five and 19," he told delegates.

BBC News Online reports that the plan is aiming to be in place by 2010, which will coincide with a similar project from the European Union (EU). It remains to be seen whether Murphy can solve the problem that so many others have failed at, although we suspect that the impact many be rather less than they might be hoping for.
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