Lane Fox: No money to get UK online

The Government’s digital champion has admitted there is no cash in the kitty to encourage the 10 million people living offline to get onboard.

Martha Lane Fox

Where there's a will there's a way seems to be the mantra Martha Lane Fox will be sticking to when it comes to getting 10 million Britons online.

The former dot com boss, and the Government's "digital champion," has been set the task of getting all those in the UK who don't engage with the internet, online, and has signed up to do this by the end of 2012.

However, during a time of sweeping cuts, Lane Fox has admitted there isn't any cash to fund such a project.

"There is no money," she told The Guardian. However, Lane Fox strongly believes funds aren't necessary to get the right result.

"There is a massive amount you can do," she added. "You can make big inroads into that 10 million number without having to spend money."

The main help right now is the 500 private companies which have made "substantial commitments," and Lane Fox claimed: "By using their networks where we can, we think we can make a big change."

She also said there was a lot of technology that had already been invested into by the public sector, which the project could take advantage of.

"The government's spent billions on technology they've spent it in schools, in GP surgeries, in libraries, in community centres," added Lane Fox.

"We've got to make it easier for people to find that technology and re-use it and learn about it at a time convenient to them. There are 500,000 computers locked up in schools every night. Wouldn't it be great if they could be opened up at times beyond when the children use them?"

Her positivity looks set to keep the goal of getting all of those offline, online by 2012 alive. She concluded: "If we can get anywhere near our aim I will be extremely happy and I will worry about 'what next' after that. This is a big enough mission."

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