The Brown government is collaborating with Britain's top IT companies to provide Internet access to every child in the country. A major education review recently urged closing the widening achievement gap between rich and poor families. In effect, a broadband Internet connection is becoming compulsory, the Guardian reports.
The schools minister, Jim Knight, acknowleged he has "some crunchy negotiations" ahead of him as he attempts to persuade Microsoft, British Telecom, and other IT firms to lower the price of broadband access. But the gap has to be closed, he says, and Internet access is necessary for parents "to have a proper conversation and get properly involved in that child's learning."