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Access To Broadband For the Poorest Is Digital Champion's Priority

In her first public address since being named as the UK's Champion for Digital Inclusion, Martha Lane Fox asserted that she will be focussing on the poorest six million people in the UK who aren't online yet in the government's ambitious universal broadband scheme.

Although as many as 17 million people in the UK are yet to come online, Ms Lane Fox said she will be looking for providing broadband connectivity to the six million people at the “bottom of the pile”.

Addressing the Reboot Britain conference, she asserted that developing internet skills in the poorest section of the country will help these people save money and get better jobs.

Ms Lane Fox further revealed that in her first couple of weeks of the appointment she visited several UK Online Centres to meet users experiencing troubles with the internet, and subsequently decided upon to concentrate on the poorest section of the society.

She summed up her findings by saying, “We are really going to focus, I hope, on the six million that are at the bottom of the pile. Partly because that's the right thing to do and partly because we know quite a lot about these people - who they are and where they live.”

She also suggested keeping the poorest section offline is actually taking a toll over government resources, notifying that around percent of the government interactions are with the bottom 25 percent of the society.

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Our Comments

Martha Lane Fox comes from the private sector. Hopefully, she is going to use her extensive experience to drive things around or otherwise she will become yet another governmental "roadkill", slaughtered by red taping, bureaucracy and lack of funds. Aiming to get the six million that are at the bottom of the pile on the web is something commendable though.

Related Links

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Poorest people to be targeted first for broadband access (opens in new tab)

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Désiré Athow
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 ITProPortal.com 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.