RealTime IT News

Operators Back Oftel Scheme for Cheaper Access

Telephone watchdog Oftel has announced that several telecoms operators are backing a scheme that will allow public institutions to gain cheaper access to the Internet.

Oftel Monday said that the new proposals will mean lower rates not only for schools -- which already benefit from lower tariffs -- but for public libraries, Colleges of Further Education and Citizens Advice Bureaux.

"BT, Kingston, CWC, Telewest, NTL and Energis have all agreed in principle to the scheme, which will benefit those who might otherwise not have access to the Internet," said David Edmonds, director general of telecommunications.

"Far greater numbers of people will be able to take advantage of the potential of the Internet by having increased access to this valuable resource.

"This commitment to serving the community is a positive step in the development of the Learning Society."

The details of the offer have yet to be finalised, but Oftel says that a scheme will be in place "by the middle of next year."