BBC News has published an article reporting that Tony Blair has pledged to provide £1bn to accelerate broadband penetration within the public service industry. The move follows recent criticism of the UK for being the "slow man of Europe" when it comes down to nation-wide high speed internet access.
The Prime Minister wants to provide "every school, university, hospital and doctors' surgery a high-speed link to the internet". The Government claims that the UK is the second most favourable climate for e-business after the US and wants things to continue this way.
An ever brightening light is appearing at the end of the tunnel for users on the slow side of the broadband divide. BT will introduce a new product called "BT MidBand" offering 128k speeds to 97% of the population. At present, there is no price indication for what appears to be an 'always on' Home Highway variant. Furthermore, BT are hailing the broadband demand tracking scheme as a great success and anticipate 90% broadband coverage by mid-2005. 16 local exchanges are due to be enabled under the new scheme and hopefully many more in the not so distant future.
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