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UK to Offer

Financial Times reporting that a new initiative in the UK is aiming to offer a PC that costs £98. Martha Lane Fox, head of the scheme, hopes that by removing the price barrier from computing, the 9.2m British adults without internet access will be able to take advantage of the opportunities available online.

“The systems will ship running a version of Linux and will come pre-installed with various other open-source offerings. On the hardware front, a keyboard, mouse and flat screen are included, but the £98 also includes extras such as delivery and telephone support. A special deal has been negotiated with mobile giant Three to offer customers a rate of £9 per month for mobile broadband, or a lower rate of £18 for three months.”

And, to avoid competition, the systems will be sold in a variety of online centres, complete with training and support. Plans have also been made to offer the system through charities, as well as using job centres and unions to raise awareness. Due to a lack of public funding however, Race Online are dependent on multiple commercial funding sources, such as Microsoft, BSkyB and the BBC.

According to Race Online, over 350,000 jobs are advertised only online, and the company aims to sell 8,000 refurbished computers by the end of the year.


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