Internet: 11Mar1999

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Internet Story: 11 Mar 1999

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In this issue:

Budget 1999

Free ISPs

Free ISPs are staying

Phone Number Changes

Phone Words

Cools Site


Budget 1999  Check out the latest on Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget at the BBC.   The speculation of a laptop computer for every primary & secondary school teacher turned up as 20m for schools to buy computers that can be borrowed by teachers for use at home.  On a similar note there employers are to be encouraged to let employees use computers from home as there will be no tax liability for such use (as there is on cell phones and cars).   He also announced 1.7bn to create a national network of computer learning centers, one for every community, set up in schools, colleges, libraries and in internet cafes.  Mr. Brown said ambitious targets had been set for the new economy:

bulletWithin three years, one million small businesses able to benefit from e-commerce.
bullet32,000 schools connected to the Internet, with 370,000 teachers computer-trained.
bulletNew help worth 20m making it possible for more teachers to have computers for home use.

In other Internet-related measures, Mr. Brown said small businesses filing their tax returns electronically would be offered a discount and Individual Learning Accounts would be expanded to open up tax-free learning in computer skills.


Free ISPs  Lineone has confirmed what we said a few weeks back, they are going to become a free ISP as of 15March1999.  There's also an interesting US perspective on the wave of free ISPs sweeping through Europe.  See the NY Times (free subscription required) article.


Here to stay  Oftel announced yesterday that it will not be pursuing BT's request to earn more money from the the free ISPs.  This is good news for the free ISP providers and we should now see even more ISPs converting to free access.  The downside of the agreement is that we are unlikely to see unmetered local calls in the near future, though there has been talk of setting up a lower rate than "local call" specifically for the ISP market.


UK Phone Number Changes  Yet again the UK phone numbers are set to change.  This time we start the change on 1 June 1999.  It's not as straight forward as it was last time (where we prefixed all STD codes with a "1").  Check out "The Big Number" to see what's going to happen and when.  You should also be able to check what you new number will be soon.


Phone Number Words  Ever wondered what words your phone number can make, as they do in the US?  The check out PhoneSpell - you can enter your phone number and see what words you can make.  There's also a FAQ on the site explaining how it all works.  With out 871872 number we can make UP1USA, or if we wish to insult the Russian nobility, UP1TSAR :-)


Cool Site of the Day  Check out the Craven & Pendle Geological Society.  This is a local site designed and built by Paul Kabrna, a Maths and Information & Communication Technology at Barden High School, Burnley.  Once we get past the initial (and irrelevant) splash screen we are presented with a well crafted site that is a virtual mine of information.  Now the Geology of the area may not be what excites you but Paul has put together an excellent show: he's obviously spent a lot of time contributing material to the site.  You can drill down almost endlessly into some of the subject areas.  There's a potted illustrated history of Bank Hall Colliery by Barry and Rita Smith, information about the Lead Mining Museum in Earby, and for those of you interested in just what you're standing on, then take a look at the geological map of the area.  The site is well illustrated with excellent photographs throughout.  So hop on over and take a look, you may learn something about where we live in Pendle!


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999

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