Government plans UK-wide teleworking centre network

The Government is considering plans to create a nationwide network of teleworking centres.

The Government is considering plans to create a nationwide network of teleworking centres.

Pilot projects will be based on the 6,000 UK Online centres, which provide community-based Internet access, due to be operational by the end of 2002.

The project, which will be run in conjunction with the private sector, was announced by secretary of state for trade and industry Patricia Hewitt and e-envoy Andrew Pinder at the launch of the UK Online initiative's second annual report. Hewitt said "huge progress" had been made towards ensuring that the UK is a world leader in the knowledge economy.

However, Barbara Walker of the CBI's E-Business Group said, "We would have expected more online business coming through by now."

Most of the strategy for next year is a continuation of those commitments set out in previous reports, with the leading targets being the increased roll-out and take-up of broadband access.

The report said the Government will "act swiftly" to resolve disputes surrounding the unbundling of BT's local loop and intends to make more radio spectrum available for wireless broadband services.

BT will also be required to provide partial private circuits at wholesale prices to increase competition in leased lines.

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