Go On UK To Help Elderly, Businesses, Charities With Web

An organisation headed by "digital champion" Martha Lane Fox, one of the original founders of lastminute.com, has combined the forces of Age UK, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, E.ON, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office and TalkTalk, in a move to help the elderly, small businesses and charitable organisations make the best of the Internet.

There are still many millions of people in the UK who have never used the Internet before and there's plenty of businesses that haven't stepped online either. Company websites, selling products online, social networking - these are all things that many smaller businesses could be taking advantage of if they had the relevant skills. There's where Go On UK comes in.

"The UK leads the world in most indicators of digital capability: the internet contributes more to our GDP than to that of any other G20 county and is predicted to grow 11 percent a year to reach £221bn by 2016," Lane Fox said.

"However, many individuals and organisations still struggle to exploit the broader benefits of technology, a problem that is particularly acute for our small businesses, older people and charities that are currently at risk of being left behind."

While there has been some focus on this sort of scheme in the past, it has previously only targeted individuals. With part of the focus now put on businesses to bring them into the digital age, the impact is likely to be far wider reaching.

Lane Fox also plans to tackle the geographical problems the UK faces in terms of Internet access. She hopes to improve the uptake of wireless services in these areas, as well as encourage the teaching of computer skills in areas which are technologically behind the rest of the country.

Source: Wired