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Government To Provide £98 PCs

David Gilbert


Government To Provide £98 PCs

Trying to become the first country in the world to have every citizen “online” is a challenge to say the least. Race Online 2012 is attempting to do just that here in the UK and as a way of getting there, a government scheme will offer those currently offline a chance to buy a PC for just £98.

According to government figures there are 9.2 million adults in the UK who do not use the internet. Of these, four million are socially or economically challenged and therefore the government is rolling out a scheme to provide refurbished PCs starting at £98 with subsidised internet connections available for £9-a-month or £18 for a three month connection.

This 12-month trial is part of the Race Online 2012 campaign which is an ambitious project. The scheme will be run by Remploy which hopes to sell about 8,000 of these refurbished PCs in the next 12 months. The government’s digital guru, Martha Lane Fox told the Financial Times today: “Motivation and inspiration are still two of the biggest barriers {to using the internet}, but clearly perception of price is another big deal for people. A good price point is certainly part of what helps people get online.”

For your £98, you will receive a PC that will run open-source software, such as Linux, and will include a flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, dedicated telephone helpline and delivery. While we’re sure the PCs which are available as part of the scheme will not be sporting Sandy Bridge processors they will no doubt suffice to get people online which is the aim of the exercise. The package will be sold through 60 UK online centres, which offer computer training.

If you want to learn more about the scheme head to the Race Online 2012 website for more information.


January 17, 2011, 6:52 pm

You can already get a usable second hand or refurbished PC - with Windows -for that money (and less) and have been able to for several years. And you can buy mobile broadband at 1GB a month for 12 months for about £80 which works out at £6.67 a month.

They've run this sort of scheme before. Its token and unnecessary. I thought they were trying to save money now, not squander it on all the people who'll be running it.


January 17, 2011, 7:00 pm

so they're selling computers for people *without the internet* through *internet stores*.....?

i can see there being a massive uptake >_<


January 18, 2011, 1:40 am

@jer I think your missing the point. The people this is aimed at are not computer literate and will not know how or what to buy, let alone use it.

Mobile broadband is only OK if you know how much you're using. This is targeted at people off the radar who may not even own a mobile, don't want a contract that could cost them hundreds

I think it's a great idea, better than building wind up laptops. It needs to be easy to access a scheme like this and simple to use.

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