Headlines: March 21st, 2002

A ‘broadband town’ is one of the initiatives to be funded by the Government to help kick start the nation’s interest in the next step forward in technology.Buckfastleigh in Devon is to be introduced to the benefits of broadband by linking up the school, health centre, town hall and library to the technology and by establishing a community access centre.

The project is one of many unveiled as part of a 30 million pound plan to boost interest in and use of the high-speed, always-on access to the internet.

That sum will be augmented by regional development agencies across the UK, who will manage the money and the projects.

Other schemes include wiring up business parks in Yorkshire and Humberside with broadband links, providing SMEs in the South East with broadband connections at reduced or free rates and setting up broadband demonstrators in local areas allowing people to sample the dramatically different performance broadband offers when surfing the internet.

Broadband not only offers faster surfing, but with faster two-way flow of information makes online shopping, online gaming, video on demand and video conferencing much more realistic options.

The Government’s Broadband Strategy was published in December and can be found at www.e-envoy.gov.uk/ecommerce/broadband/bbsgrep_menu.htm