uk: We own chunks of the banks, now what about broadband?

For those of us passionate about reducing Britain’s digital divide, these are the best and worst of times. The worst of times, we all know about: a gaping hole in the public accounts means little money available for good works that don’t have immediate electoral appeal.I’ll come back to that, but first let’s celebrate the good times. In the past few months we’ve seen a remarkable consensus emerge on three big points: that digital exclusion is a real social problem; that it’s capable of being ameliorated; and that the government has a role in promoting attempts to do so.Tomorrow is national Get Online Day. The minister for digital inclusion, Paul Murphy, will use this opportunity to unveil a “digital inclusion action plan”, which aims to bridge the divide between the two-thirds of Britons who are online and the one-third who are not.The draft plan – open for consultation until January – will essentially sum up the scale of the divide and take us on a tour of initiatives aimed at relieving it.

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