£98 PCs are being offered to the 9.2 million UK adults who currently lack internet access, as part of a Government scheme to bridge the 'digital divide'.
The initiative launched this week, but organisers hope to sell 8,000 computers this year. It is part of the Race Online campaign, which previously negotiated cut price mobile broadband deals for participants.
“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,” Martha Lane Fox, the government’s 'digital champion' told The Financial Times. “A good price point is certainly part of what helps people get online.”
“We have an opportunity here in the UK to make sure we are achieving internet skills and usage as high as TV usage. We should be using our old computers and refurbishing them to close the gap in this country.”
Rather than relying on public funding, large corporations such as Microsoft, the BBC, British Sky Broadcasting, Moneysupermarket.com have been working with the Government for Race Online, as well a number of resellers and retailers.