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Martha Lane Fox's bid to get everyone in Britain online

14th July 2010

The internet entrepreneur and government digital champion, Martha Lane Fox has launched her "Manifesto for a Networked Nation". Founder of lastminute.com, Martha wants to target the 10 million adults living in the UK who have never used the internet. She feels that these are the people that the internet can help most, providing them with access to public services and employment opportunities that they currently are unable to access. 

Launching the campaign, Martha called on the government, industry and charities to take urgent action to help get every British citizen of working age online by the end of 2012.

"The disadvantages of being offline are becoming so great and growing at such a pace, that for reasons of social justice and economic necessity we must act now," Martha Lane Fox said in the manifesto.

Recommending a rewards scheme to encourage first time users, she said the government should expect people to use some key online public services and provide training to those who need help.

Martha believes that Government involvement is key to the success of this initiative, recommending some kind of reward scheme to encourage first time users, she has suggested that the Government provide training for those that need help taking the first step towards an online future.

This campaign fits in with the Government’s attempt to save money. Initial research by PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown that if everyone in Britain were online, the estimated benefit to the economy would be in excess of 22 billion pounds.

Prime Minister David Cameron has also praised Lane Fox's campaign.
"Promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective," he said.

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