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Each UK child to have access to broadband internet access

Parents could soon be obliged to provide their children with high speed internet access according to a report published by the Observer (opens in new tab).

The report which cites the Schools Minister, Jim Knight, says that he has been in talk with Microsoft, BT, Sky, Virgin and RM in a bid to reduce the digital divide between students that have broadband and those who haven't.

Microsoft though has already denied being "pressured" by Knight in an article published by The Register (opens in new tab) with a Microsoft Spokeswoman saying that they are only expecting an announcement this week at the BETT education technology trade show by the Schools Minister.

Part of the plan apparently includes helping the one million plus children who have no access to a computer at home, get one.

Whether this is the right thing or not to do remains to be seen; there are already several very cheap or almost free broadband packages with Carphone Warehouse's TalkTalk broadband being the most popular.

There's also the issue of knowing whether the broadband will be effectively used for educational purposes; the UK government could potentially grab a million OLPC laptops for GBP 75 million and give them free to those students but this seems highly unlikely.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.