Home laptop scheme picks up suppliers

Summary:Becta approves four more technology suppliers for the scheme, which aims to provide free intenet-connected laptops to disadvantaged families

The government has approved a second wave of technology suppliers for its Home Access scheme, which provides free internet-connected laptops to disadvantaged children.

The four new accredited companies are hardware and services providers DA Computers, NS Optimum and Stone Group, and IT distributor Micro-P, Becta announced on Tuesday.

Becta, the government's technology and learning agency, manages the Home Access scheme, which was launched by Gordon Brown in January. The £30m scheme provides a grant of up to £528 for families to buy computing equipment and broadband provision from high-street providers. It is designed to improve children's access to educational materials online.

"Gaining access to a computer and the internet at home will be a huge step forward for many children and families across England," said Becta chief executive Stephen Crowne in a statement. "By working with suppliers to provide quality services, we are confident that we can deliver a programme that meets the needs of learners today."

The four new providers join five suppliers accredited in December, which are Bli Education, Centerprise, Comet, Misco, Positive IT Solutions and XMA.

Topics: Broadband, IT Employment

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Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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