Race Online gets 100,000 digital champions

Martha Lane-Fox

The Race Online 2012 campaign has recruited 100,000 "digital champions" to help millions more UK citizens get online.

The UK's Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox announced the national network of volunteers, who will try and engage the nine million people in Britain who have never used the internet.

Prime Minister David Cameron has given the initiative his backing, saying it would help the UK in its bid to become the first ever country to have the entire population online.

"Often it is the impact of volunteers that can make the biggest difference," Cameron said.

"I'm so keen for everyone to get behind Race Online 2012 and its ambition to get as many people online as possible by the time of the London Olympics."

The 100,000 digital champions, who have been picked out from various organistions including BT and John Lewis, will make up the biggest ever cross-sector volunteer force.

"Today is a massive step forward in our ambition to create a truly remarkable digital UK where the internet is a tool that everybody can use for their benefit," Lane Fox added.

"By bringing together an extraordinary mix of cross-sector partners we aim to eliminate the three major barriers that we know prevent people from getting online access, motivation and skills."

As part of the project, low price recycled PC products have been launched by Microsoft from 95, Remploy from 92 and XMA from 120.

We caught up with Remploy this week about its role in the Race Online 2012 campaign.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.