eEurope section 1European Youth
into the Digital Age|
28. OFTEL and the telecommunications industry
have worked together over a number of years to facilitate increased
access to the Internet. In 1997, the industry agreed to offer
schools Internet access at a flat, low-rate charge. In the autumn
of 1999, the industry introduced a further cheaper option for
primary schools. This service provides 15 hours Internet access
per school week for a set low fee.
29. The success of schools initiative led
the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to ask the Director
General to have further discussions with the major operators about
securing special tariffs for public libraries, FE colleges and
citizens advice bureaux.
30. In March of this year, OFTEL published
its Statement on BT's Public Institutions Internet Caller, a service
for the eligible defined public institutions. This service is
based upon the Schools Internet Caller service and offers either
ordinary dial-up Internet access or access via an ISDN line.
31. The service, which became available
at the beginning of April, provides a flat rate service for eligible
institutions allowing them to connect to any participating Internet
Service Provider for 10 hours per weekday (Monday to Friday) between
8am to 6pm. In addition, for a small additional amount, the eligible
institution (and schools) can purchase an evening and weekend
32. BT has also now put forward a proposal
for a 2 Mbit/s leased line service for schools and the eligible
33. In addition schools and any other institution
can benefit from the general reduction in the cost of accessing
the Internet in the UK, as described in Annex A.