Bread & Circuses.
I agree with AC@12:28, AC@13:17, and Ken Hagan.
I'd just like to re-iterate the library point, though. As I understand it, every single person in this country has access to a library every single library has internet access. Anyone under approx. 25 will have used internet enabled computers at school. Over 25 and scared of computers? Live with it. Or do one of the copious amounts of free courses. Hint: you're probably able to sign up for one at your local library. Not everything in life can be bought of the shelf at Tesco or Dixons.
And if this scheme is being means tested, should any of the following groups be automatically disqualified...
...anyone with a Sky package with anything more than the Freeview channels?
...anyone more than a 14" portable telly?
...anyone who smokes?
...anyone who drinks alcohol?
...anyone who has spent more than £10 on a pair of jeans?
...anyone who buys Heinz beans instead of supermarket own brand?
...anyone who drinks coffee or tea instead of water?
...anyone with a TV license?
Where do we draw the line? Well personally, I'd be tempted to exclude all of the above groups of people. Personally, I've chosen to spend money on a combination of some of the above, and to abstain from others. And as a result, I've ended up being able to buy a desktop PC and laptop because of my CHOICES when it comes to non-essential purchases. Where's my free big telly cos I've spunked my dosh on a laptop?
The point is this: 99.9% of the country has access to a phone line. An internet ready PC need not cost more than £99.99 at most. A new EEE "laptop" can be had for 150 notes. i.e. less than the cost of a year's TV licence. Thusly, any adult who falls into any of the above category but does not have access to the internet is in that position through choice.
The internet is not an essential utility. Highly desirable to many, maybe, but essential? No. Not like heat and light.
Final word to andy gibson:
"When I was at school I was taught that if I studied hard, went to college and university and got qualifications, I'd be able to afford luxuries like computers.
Now it seems you can be a burger flipper on minimum wage and get these things given to you by the state (along with cheaper fuel bills & house insulation)."