PM launches 'Manifesto For A Networked Nation'

Prime Minister launches Martha Lane Fox's 'Manifesto for a Networked Nation' this week
The Prime Minister launches Martha Lane Fox's 'Manifesto for a Networked Nation' this week

The UK's digital inclusion champion Martha Lane Fox sets out her ambitious plans this week to get every British citizen of working age on the internet by 2015.

Lane Fox is keen to address the reasons why there are still over 10 million Brits who are not regularly using the internet.

She will present her 'Manifesto for a Networked Nation' to Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street later today.

PM promotes Network Nation

"In the internet age, we need to ensure that people aren't being left behind as more and more services and business move online," Cameron has previously said of the campaign.

"Promoting digital inclusion is essential for a dynamic modern economy and can help to make government more efficient and effective."

In the foreword to Lane Fox's ambitious manifesto, she quotes a young man from Leeds who told her that he "would be dead" without the internet.

"He had rebuilt his life from a drug addiction by visiting a centre where he learnt how to use a computer and how to make and sell music online," writes Lane Fox. "He is one of thousands of people across the UK who have found the internet an invaluable tool in helping manage extremely difficult personal circumstances.

"This manifesto is a rallying cry for us all to create a truly networked nation – and a chance to get millions more people online by the end of 2012. This will be an Olympic legacy that will benefit all of us."

Where is the funding coming from?

Stirring words, for sure, but there are still many hard questions to be answered about how much Lane Fox's plans will cost and, most importantly, who is going to fund them?

In an age of public cost-cutting it is difficult to see how the government could find the millions of pounds needed to properly implement these plans to get the poor, the elderly and the disenfranchised of Britain online.

You can see more on the campaign over at Race Online 2012. Lane Fox wants to encourage volunteers to sign up and to donate money or equipment, or organise your own events and help to develop new ideas about how to get people online.

Ideally, she hopes to see local "digital champions" in every local authority, public library and Jobcentre Plus office this year.

Via Manifesto for a Networked Nation

Adam Hartley