Post office to become Internet shopping centre

Go surfing with your stampsPost offices are going cyber as the government decides to turn the humble PO counter into a hive of Internet activity Wednesday.

Trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers is expected to announce plans to turn post offices into Internet centres as he delivers the findings of a Cabinet Office report to Parliament this afternoon. It is among one of a series of changes aimed at modernising the postal service.

The government is keen to put all government services online and has set itself a 2005 deadline for this. It is, however, wary of creating a digital divide. An internal report, commissioned in March accused the government of not doing enough to bring technology to Britain's most deprived areas. Allowing citizens to access government services online from the local post office could ease this problem.

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