Lane Fox to sell £98 PCs to the have-nots
Britain’s “digital champion” Martha Lane Fox is launching a new scheme to sell sub-£100 PCs to people without broadband connections.
The scheme, aimed at the nine million Britons who are yet to go online, will offer a refurbished PC for an initial outlay of only £98. The Linux-based systems will include a flat-screen monitor, telephone support and warranty.
The initiative is part of Lane Fox’s Race Online 2012 campaign, which aims to have every Briton online by the end of this parliament (which, somewhat contradictorily, is in 2015).
“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,” said Lane Fox in an interview with 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.”
The pilot scheme will be launched this week, with a full nationwide rollout planned for later this year.
The PCs will be available from 60 centres across the country.