£24 PC to go on sale, aiming to get poorest online

People on benefits also offered �3 internet access deal in digital push. Picture: Contributed
People on benefits also offered �3 internet access deal in digital push. Picture: Contributed
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A £24 PC is to go on sale to people on benefits, with a £2.99 per month broadband deal, to help 10.8 million disadvantaged Britons get online.

Get Online @Home is also offering a £74 laptop with the same broadband deal – providing customers take the offer between tomorrow and 30 June.

Both include Windows 7 Pro and MS Office Basic – which have an estimated retail price of £150.

Get Online @Home is an initiative by Microsoft and its partners to provide low-cost refurbished desktop PCs and laptops to support the Go ON UK digital inclusion programme – a push to improve Britain’s digital skills.

According to the company behind the offer, 16 million Britons still do not have basic online skills, and 800,000 of the most disadvantaged children do not have home internet access.

Chris Williams, at Get Online @Home, said: “We are delighted to be able to make this extraordinary deal available, to offer real help to people that need it.

“Never before has anything like it been made possible and we know it will benefit all those who have previously not been able to get online.”

Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, who established Go ON UK, said: “With the cost of internet access cited as a key reason for not being online, this is an incredible saving and will transform the lives of everyone that hasn’t been able to get online before.

“With so much online now, from paying bills and banking to job applications, being online is no longer nice to have, it is an essential.”

Supporters of the offer say it could help get Britain booming, because at least 75 per cent of jobs now require online applications and the government wants 80 per cent of submissions for universal credit to be online.

Savings of £3 billion a year could be made if the digitally excluded shopped online, Get Online @Home said.

The offer coincides with the start of the National Digital Inclusion conference in London, being held to discuss the role technology can play in transforming the nation’s skills, businesses and government services.

Since launching in 2011, Get Online @Home has supplied more than 23,000 computers across the UK.

For those not on eligible benefits, a refurbished PC is available for £74 or a refurbished laptop for £104, both with broadband from £2.99.