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RealTime IT News

Blair Launches Latest BBC WebWise Campaign

Prime Minister Tony Blair's Internet drive Monday hit a new venue -- he has now given his full support to the BBC's WebWise campaign to get people started on the Internet.

"WebWise really is a terrific initiative to introduce people to the Internet," said Blair.

"I'm delighted to launch the BBC's Autumn campaign and I'm sure it will encourage many people to discover the huge potential of the Web."

During the Autumn, people who want to learn more about the Internet can visit over 5,000 different outlets in the UK, including high street stores such as Sainsburys, Marks & Spencer and Asda, as well as banks, libraries and community centres. Internet facilities are being provided at all these locations, with a link to the BBC's WebWise site.

The new WebWise course includes new programmes on BBC television, radio and online, plus several major features in existing programmes. During the first phase of WebWise, 17 million people either saw or heard one or more of the participating TV or radio shows.

Other statistics released by the BBC on Friday showed that 150,000 calls were made to the WebWise helpline and 105,000 people took part in free Internet taster sessions.

"WebWise is a major part of the BBC's commitment to get the UK online," said Michael Stevenson, director of BBC Education. "The success of WebWise demonstrates the real thirst for learning Internet skills, as the Prime Minister himself has shown today."