HC Deb 16 June 1997 vol 296 c54W
Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with BT concerning proposals to link Scotland's schools to the Internet; which areas of Scotland he assesses will be linked to the Internet; what form it is anticipated any link will take; if the link will be through ISDN or digital connection; what is the expected cost per pupil of the proposed link; and if he will make a statement. [3184]

Mr. Wilson

The Government are discussing with BT how they can best fulfil their commitment to link Scotland's schools to the information superhighway. The details of these plans, including the capacity of the link, are not yet finalised.

Cable companies already provide a free link to schools passed by their networks. They offer schools a competitive flat monthly fee for unlimited Internet access. Additionally, ISDN or equivalent high speed connection is available also at competitive rates. An estimated 45–50 per cent. of Scottish schools could benefit from this service by the turn of the century when cabling in current franchise areas is completed.