BT names its 'internet ranger' of 2008

BT names young 'internet ranger' of the year, 15-year-old Scottish lad John Soutar

BT has announced that John Soutar, a 15-year-old Scottish lad who helps out with his mum's business online, is the national winner in its 2008 BT Internet Ranger of the Year Awards.

The awards were a way of giving recognition to young people playing a crucial role in helping older generations get online, part of the wider BT Internet Ranger campaign, that follows the company's findings that a third of parents and grandparents have been encouraged to get online by their younger relatives.

John, pictured here being handed his prize of a laptop and £250 in IT vouchers by Angus McNeil MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar at the BT Tower in London, has helped his mum, Elspeth, start a new life in the Hebrides by designing a website for the family's holiday cottage business.

Fascinated with tech

"I have always been fascinated with computers and the internet," said the 15 year old, "it's fantastic to see how sharing the knowledge I have gathered has had a positive impact on my family and local community."

John was described by Angus Macneil, his local MP, as "an excellent role model for his generation and I hope his story will inspire other young people to engage with their local communities to share their skills and help tackle the digital divide."