Headlines: April 18th, 2000

A new 10m pound Wired Communities initiative will bring the Internet and e-mail into the homes of people who otherwise may become the new information poor. The projects will target homes in pilot estates, tower blocks and rural areas. As well as providing access to such sites as NHS Direct, on-line revision and homework help, and the Job Club, local community workers will be able to find out about government services such as information on benefit entitlement and pensions.Because Government alone cannot bridge the digital gap the projects are being used as a test beds to assess how partnership with the private sector can best deploy the different technologies to secure the greatest impact on communities and individuals.

The projects have been designed to test the impact of new technologies on different types of community and to find out how best to complement existing programmes in the most disadvantaged communities. Access to the Internet will be provided by computers and television.