Prime minister Gordon Brown today reaffirmed pledges to close the digital divide by offering free computers and broadband access to low income families.
Around £300m will be set aside to help 270,000 families as part of the Home Access scheme.
The plans, originally announced over a year ago, are designed to "close the digital and educational divide between rich and poor and help keep parents in touch with their child's progress", according to a note on the official Number 10 web site.
Schools secretary Ed Balls told the BBC's Today programme this morning that the government had already begun allocating the computers to families nationwide, so that "all children and not just those on higher incomes can have a computer at home".
"We are doing this because we've got the money and evidence shows that it improves their learning and raises their exam grades," he said. "It's about delivering a more socially just society in which every child can learn, not just some."
The plans are part of the government's attempts to close the digital divide, but are likely to be less controversial than its proposed Landline Duty which seeks to raise nearly £1bn in revenue to fund the rollout of next-generation broadband services to those in poorly served areas.
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