Race Online 2012 aims to bridge digital divide with low-cost computers
Today the BBC reports that Race Online 2012, the organisation that aims to reach out to the 9.2 million adults in the UK who are currently offline, will be offering low-cost computers as part of a government scheme to encourage people in the UK to get online for the first time.
Prices will start at £98 for a refurbished PC, with subsidised internet connections available for £9 a month. Distributor Remploy hopes to sell 8,000 machines in the next 12 months, and the PCs will be sold via 60 UK Online centres.
For penguinistas such as ourselves, the good news is the cheap machines will run Linux and other open source software and will include a flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, dedicated telephone helpline and delivery.
Read the original BBC article.
Of course, if £98 is still a bit too much or you don’t need a broadband connection thrown in, take a look at Bristol Wireless’ refurbished computers.
I don’t wish to carp and I know that it’s only a trial, but Learn Direct don’t seem to have any reference to the Remploy E-cycle scheme. If you follow the link from Remploy’s site to their E-bay shop, they are selling machines running XP! As any fule kno Linux will be supported till the next millennium (probably), whereas XP will wither and die in April 2014.
You are not the only person to be sceptical about the scheme (could it be down to poor reporting?). PC Pro also has its doubts; see http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/01/18/the-real-cost-of-martha-lane-foxs-98-pcs/