Skip Navigation


Government rehash 'Broadband for all' announcement
Tuesday 12 January 2010 15:20:05 by John Hunt

Yesterday the government renewed their intention to provide free broadband and computers to underprivileged families. The original £300m scheme announced in September 2008 set to bring low income families online to help plug the gap of 1.4 million children who at the time didn't have access to broadband at home.

The project is now expected to give a grant of £500 to children aged between 7 and 13 from 270,000 low income families to select an approved computer and provide a free 12 month broadband connection. After the 12 months, the families seem to be left to their own devices with a new ongoing cost that they will likely have to continue paying if they don't want to then deprive their children of their Internet connection.

No information has been released on what computers or whether users will have a choice in broadband connection, however the rollout is not expected to start until March 2011. It also isn't clear if the £500 is expected to cover the cost of the broadband connection. If this will come out of the remaining £175m, then users can probably expect a good connection as £175m across 270,000 connections works out as £54 a month- enough for Virgin's 50meg broadband service! Of course, one expects some of this will be eaten up by public procurement overheads, but we do hope that this doesn't work out at more than half the cost of the scheme!

TalkTalk haven't been impressed by the announcement and today have said that other schemes being introduced by the government will price more people out of the broadband market.

"The Prime Minister's announcement that 270,000 low income families will receive a free computer and free broadband access betrays some deeply muddled thinking. No-one would dispute that getting low income families online is a good thing. But the Government's other initiatives are working to discourage uptake and make internet access unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of other families.

"As a result of two government proposals – the phone tax and copyright protection – families face an extra cost of £30 a year to stay online. Demand modelling shows that this additional burden could lead to 600,000 financially stretched families being forced to give up their broadband connections.

"We've always said that the phone tax is regressive and unfair and this latest announcement – for all its superficial appeal – demonstrates the inconsistency in the Government's approach rather well. This tax is not about getting people onto broadband – it is about taxing everyone to allow the relatively well-off in rural areas to get super-fast speeds. As for the costs of protecting copyright, it is obscene that poorer families face the prospect of being priced out of the internet in order to prop up the outdated business models of big studios and record labels."

TalkTalk Statement

TalkTalk may be more concerned by most at the prospect of 600,000 broadband connections being dropped as they offer low cost services that would attract low-income families. Whether 600,000 is accurate will be seen in time.

Comments

Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Don't hold back Talk Talk, say what you think... :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I fail to see why the politically correct term of "underprivileged" families should get a free computer and free internet. Each time i want to upgrade my computer with the latest GFX card or CPU, i have to wait until i can afford it. People in this country have to work hard to buy and afford things they want. I find it disgusting the "underprivileged" (Or in non PC term) lazy jobless, with a billion kids should get anything else for free.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
I don't understand why nobody has yet informed Gordon that vast areas of the UK still can't get a broadband connection, and that home access is mainly using crap mobile dongles which don't work in rural areas either. They are also using microsoft instead of the more reliable and cheaper linux and open source software. Another example of a do gooding org spending taxpayers money on daft ideas. And another thing, there are more poor people in rural locations than you think. Not everyone in the countryside is rich. There are more rich people in the cities.
Posted by premier over 7 years ago
Re-announcing their "intention"? Is there an election looming? :)
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I still have difficulty understanding how an extra 50p a month can make broadband unaffordable.

If people's finances are already that tight then they should already be asking themselves if it's worth it. 50p is neither here nor there.

If the extra 50p is too much then the person is not making much use out of their connection and they should probably have cancelled it long ago.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I can see a little more sense in the objections from people who only have a 'phone line and don't want broadband.

But still - are there really people for whom 50p a month extra would break the bank?
Posted by jonmarriott over 7 years ago
Well there does come a point when peoples' affordability ceases due to cost, so yes of course every 50p increase matters, eventually.

Posted by kijoma over 7 years ago
hey if you go entirely wireless, like with a fixed Wireless provider :), you wont need the phone line and therefore no 50p tax \o/ , my phone line recently snapped in the cold weather and lies on the pavement.. no loss :p
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
I'm surprised that we haven't had a free computers for pensioners scheme yet. As pensioners are a more socially acceptable form of financial basket case.

£54 seems rather excessive for a monthly broadband fee. Perhaps they are confusing costs with the amounts claimed by MPs on expense.
Posted by andygegg over 7 years ago
As I understood it we're talking about getting a USC level service available - and if TalkTalk think that's "superfast" I pity their customers. The spokesman also seems to assume that his Surrey mansion is typical of rural Britain - in fact real people live there (not just stockbroker-belt second homers) usually with high unemployment, low wage jobs and high house prices. Oh, and very long phone lines!
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
Am lost for words, my thoughts in more detail are posted in the free chat section in the forums, but a waste of time and money. 300 million be better spent on FTTC. Those who want broadband will have it by now unless they in a no spot in which case this wont make any difference.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
The government wants everyone to be reliant on them, with the divide between rich and poor becoming wider, less rich and more poor people, eventually we will all be dependent on them.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
I suspect this scheme will be dropped like a hot brick after the election. By the way if the scheme is meant for 270,000 families and the grant is £500 that is £135m. If the budget is £300m what is the balance of £165m to be used for? Is that the cost of administrating the scheme?
Posted by alewis over 7 years ago
@carpetburn, AndrueC and other condescending, stuckup barstewards.... I gather neither of you are unemployed and never have been, never had to struggle on £59/week benefit, trying to make ends meet. Yes, 50 PENCE can be a problem, when your outgoings match your "income", or even exceed them.

@carpetburn. You arrogant prat. You ignorant, arrogant idiot. How dare you tar everyone who is unemployed as "lazy jobless". by far the majority dont WANT to be unemployed. Why dont you ask the 600,00+ people who LOST their jobs last year if they are "lazy"?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"@carpetburn. You arrogant prat. You ignorant, arrogant idiot. How dare you tar everyone who is unemployed as "lazy jobless". by far the majority dont WANT to be unemployed. Why dont you ask the 600,00+ people who LOST their jobs last year if they are "lazy"?"

If you are capable of working you should work, you want broadband that bad go get a paper round, pack fruit, clean offices and other similar jobs that are always available and easily found. CONT
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
The trouble with people like you is you have a big gob and expect others to support you. I used to work for an employment agency. The low food chain jobs people like you never want (you think its below you). Stuff like cleaning jobs, packing jobs often are taken by foreigners who really need money and are willing to work hard for it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
As to the 50p thing..... NOWHERE did i even comment on the 50p tax, but seeing as you dragged it up..... If you cant afford 50p extra a month then you will just have to go without broadband wont you, rather than relying on the rest of the population to fund you a bit more. Pity you with your sob story sitting there in front of you hundreds of pounds worth of computer gear crying you are poor....pffffffft
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Ive been unemployed in the past many years ago and know how difficult it can be, i didnt sit at my computer though blabbering a sob story. You dare call me ignorant.... Who bought your computer? If money was that tight you wouldnt have a computer, let alone broadband. You would be more worried about managing to sell the thing to feed yourself than finding another 50p OF TAX PAYERS money a month more. Sing the tune to someone else.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Take what job you can get rather than a job you ideally want if you are suffering that badly.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
@Carpetburn
I realise that alewis may have offended you but I felt your response was disportionate.

Please can we have more civility in these posts?
Posted by 2doorsbob over 7 years ago
Not sure spending 300 mill is the right thing to do considering the state of the economy ..maybe reconditioned pc's is a good idea tons of old kit is scrapped .windows 2000 with 256mb would be more than enough to get online
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote "@Carpetburn
I realise that alewis may have offended you but I felt your response was disportionate.

Please can we have more civility in these posts?"
I thought i was pretty polite considering the poster concerned happily takes my money i pay in tax, sits on his bottom and has the nerve to call me "You arrogant prat. You ignorant, arrogant idiot."
Typical example of the lazy jobless, whinge they are poor, whinge they dont get enough money to live on, whinge when reminded, what they do get to live on isnt theres.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
IF you are CAPABLE of working you can easily get a job, it may be a horrid bottom of the pile, dogs body job but you can easily get one, even with this stuff everything up goverment. You will hate the work, it will be minimum wage. There is a fruit and veg packing plant near me who always need staff, of course only foreigners and a community of gypsies from a neighbour town will do the work though, the other jobless like alewis think its below them.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Mods - please delete off topic discussions.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ I agree please delete alewis post and mine that replied to it, and the insults they started.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
@Carpetburn 'I find it disgusting the "underprivileged" (Or in non PC term) lazy jobless, with a billion kids should get anything else for free.'

This quote of yours is the 2nd post on this subject. I am not a fan of political correctness but I can see how that would be offensive to a large number of unemployed people. I would agree that alewis response is also offensive however alewis is not a regular contributor.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I appologise if you find that interpretation of "underprivileged" offensive. It may not sound nice but it is most probably totally accurate... If you read the other link quoted in the story...
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3711-brown-says-broadband-for-all.html CONT
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
It mentions its designed for children in homes that do not have broadband and are on a low income. Its another perk for the jobless, its obviously not for the elderly (unless they are still breeding children in their old age) and i doubt its for the disabled either (they would had said if it were to be even more politically correct). So put it all together. Low income parents+children+government handout. what thought enters your mind? I refuse to be politically correct when its my money being used. Also note from the other linked story others are not happy to be giving another handout either.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
@Carpetburn
Describing the underprivileged as lazy jobless seems simplistic. In the previous post you mention low income which to me suggests that the underprivileged person could be employed!

It seems to me that your language seeks to dehumanise and demonise the underprivileged. That is what the Nazis used to do to the Jews, Gypsies and gays. I am not suggesting you are a Nazi, however it was ordinary folks who allowed the Nazis to take power.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@Carpetburn
Describing the underprivileged as lazy jobless seems simplistic. In the previous post you mention low income which to me suggests that the underprivileged person could be employed!"

That wouldnt make sense, there is a minimum wage for employees also set by the government. Unless they are saying their own set minimum wage makes a person "underprivileged" it makes no sense. It mentions low income, if it is the case this is also for the EMPLOYED why is it not the case every minimum wage worker will get it?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"It seems to me that your language seeks to dehumanise and demonise the underprivileged. That is what the Nazis used to do to the Jews, Gypsies and gays. I am not suggesting you are a Nazi, however it was ordinary folks who allowed the Nazis to take power."

Hardly, i actually defended groups of society that are willing to work hard in earlier posts.
I see myself as the complete opposite rather than one of those idiots that harp on about British jobs for British workers. I respect and admire anyone especially the real underprivileged.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
The real underpriviledged of society dont sit on their backside, refusing to work and take tax payers cash. They work hard, in bottom end jobs, paying their own way and being productive members of society. Someone that is unemployed like alewis, that sees that type of work as below them isnt underpriviledged, they are the opposite and priviledged to be taking benefits, while refusing to earn their own money. CONT
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
The embedded link clearly states... "scheme will see a million of the poorest families receiving between £100 and £700" I assume that means the jobless, unless you are saying someone that works is poorer than someone that does not. If true that begs another question, why are those that do not work not as poor as people that do???
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
The scheme is for the jobless, anyone that is capale of working should work..... Alewis is clearly capable of working, otherwise he would be getting more than £59 a week benefit. Why doesnt he go do a menial job if he is so poor??? Support the real poor and those that cant work i say. Not those already with a nice computer and internet access that have the nerve to moan they are poor. If theres going to be a scheme like this for people, the least our goverment should do is spend the tax payers cash on those deserving.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
FINALLY.... If ou cant or dont want to read my rant i present the evidence here.........

http://www.ictforeducation.co.uk/English__Home_access_scheme.html

QUOTE from third paragraph.....

"The pilots will remain largely about pupils from families in receipt of income support or unemployment benefits."

As i said for the lazy jobless..... END!
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
People in receipt of income support are working they cannot be described as lazy jobless. A case of lazy thinking by Carpetburn!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"People in receipt of income support are working"

No NOT all are... Income support is for those that don't have savings of £16,000 or more and are not working, or work on average less than 16 hours a week.
Jobseekers allowance (another unemployment benefit) is for those available for and actively seeking work. You can not claim both benefits.
This is clearly a scheme many unemployed and lazy will benefit from... I can provide proof if needed and more info on various benefits unemployed claim.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Further more those that claim Income Support also get... free dental care, free prescriptions, free school meals, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit......

I think they get enough "FREE" already.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@Dawn_Falcon..... Just about to report your disgusting swearing.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
I'm sure that more people have been offended by Carpetburn than Dawn Falcon on this thread.

Anyway I will take DF's advice and ignore Carpetburn.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"I'm sure that more people have been offended by Carpetburn than Dawn Falcon on this thread."

I appologised if i offended you and i do so again. However I have shown the scheme is for the unemployed. Shown Income support is a benefit unemployed can claim, pointed out they already get "free" stuff. I can also link to percent stats of those capable of work that have not worked for several years, id say thats evidence its for jobless and i can also demonstrate laziness.... It may offend and im sorry, but its true.
Posted by trollslayer3 over 7 years ago
I work, I'm on a low income & do get some benefits. My kids might actually qualify for this (though I won't apply for it nor take it) but either way I think it's ridiculous for the government to be handing out free computers and internet connections when the economy is already screwed up. There are far better things they could use the money for.

My computer, like everything else I own, was saved for and paid for, by me. Didn't cost anywhere near £500 either even though it had good spec. HAs nobody heard of Charity shops, Freecycle etc?
Posted by asrobs over 7 years ago
IF PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO SMOKE THEY SHOULD NOT GET TREATED AS UNDEPRIVILEDGED,I USED TO SMOKE SO DO NOT,COMPLAIN.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Well said trollslayer3, the irony is you may well be a deserving cause, but probably wont get anything. People like you muddle through and pay your own way the best you can and only take help if they truely need it. You bust your back supporting your family. As i said the real underpriviledged of society dont sit on their backside, refusing to work, crying for sympathy. Instead they work hard, paying their own way.
Posted by BuddHa13 over 7 years ago
I agree with CARPETBURN's 1st post. If the "underpriviliged" are too lazy to get off of thier backsides and work for a living like the rest of us, then tough. If you want something in this life then work for it. When will we get a goverment that stands up for the rights of the hardworking families of this country.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
It is good to see some other people contributing to this thread. I actually think the idea of providing computers to the target group is a good idea, however at the same time the scheme appears to be far too expensive and wasteful.

Surely it would be cheaper for the Government to make contributions to suitable charitable organisations who could do the same task cheaper and more effectively.

Do not forget this scheme is meant to benefit children without computers and access to broadband.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Do not forget this scheme is meant to benefit children without computers and access to broadband."

Thats just government fluff, there are plenty of schemes in this country that supply used computers to both the poor, charities and abroad in this country, if the idea is just to get them online they dont need a brand new machine.
Example....
http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/ComputerRecyclersRefurbishers.htm
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
If the unemployed want a brand new computer do what the rest of us have to do, go earn money to buy it. Appologies in advance again if anyone finds that harsh or insulting.
Posted by TGVrecord over 7 years ago
I don't have a problem with PCs being recycled. In fact I would go further and suggest that encourage the use of Linux rather than give profits to the likes of Microsoft.

In any case the Governments proposed scheme is bound to be cancelled either because the Torys win the election or because Labour will need to demonstrate they can make funding cuts.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I agree with you on the fact about Linux.... If they must give the unemployed a computer give them a used one and install Linux on it, rather than spending hundreds more per machine on MS licenses and brand new hardware.

I hope it is scrapped, Mr Brown lives in lala land, country is in enough debt without adding to it.
Posted by AspieMum over 7 years ago
A lot of these posts seem to be about giving those without paid employment a hard time. I am not in paid employment because I am a full time unpaid carer. In that role I work far more hours than someone does in paid employment. Low income is also not just the unemployed- many in paid work only get a low wage. Also it is a scheme aimed at the children not the parents.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.