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Minister talks up UK's Internet image

Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, will today attempt to refute suggestions that Britain is behind the times when it comes to the Internet.

Ms Jowell will tell the e-summit, a convention on the internet and IT, that Britain compares well when measured by standards such as the price and availability of Internet connections.

She will point out that much of the improvement has been achieved in education, with 99 per cent of schools now connected to the Internet.

A government report, which was compiled by an independent source, will say that within four years Britain has improved from being one of the most expensive nations in the western world for Internet access to one of the cheapest.

Tony Blair is expected to use the keynote speech to outline the budget for new technology in health and education for 2003.

Mr Blair will emphasise the importance of hastening the take-up of high-speed connections. There are fewer than one million subscribers in the UK, and 11 million in the US.

Internet magazine January 2003

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