Government launches £98 computer scheme

More than nine million British adults without access to the internet at home will be able to get a PC for just £98 under a new government scheme to get the UK online

Refurbished computers will be made available for less than £100 under the pilot scheme, which is being spearheaded by Race Online 2012.

Digital champion Martha Lane-Fox is leading the drive to get people online

"I am excited about the possibilities this low-cost pilot scheme presents for the many people in the UK who so far have simply not been able to afford to get online," she said.

Tim Matthews, chief executive of Remploy, which is partnering the scheme, said: "Being connected to the internet brings so many benefits that it must be right to make computers and internet connections more affordable for people who don't own their own PC."

Race Online 2012, with Remploy and UK Online Centres, will offer refurbished computers through the "E-cycle" scheme together with a low-cost internet connection.

Prices will start at £98 a PC with a flat screen monitor, mouse and keyboard including operating system and Office package with warranty, phone support and delivery, said Remploy. A mobile broadband connection will be available from Three costing £9 for one month or £18 for three month's service.

Helen Milner, UK online centres managing director, added: "Although research shows going online can save people around £560 year, we know the cost of setting yourself up at home is still a real barrier for lots of people.

"Remploy E-cycle provides another economically and environmentally friendly option for first time buyers - and it's designed specifically for those new to the internet."

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