A government scheme that offers disadvantaged families access to PCs and the internet is to be rolled out to 270,000 families in England.

The Home Access Scheme, which was announced in 2008, has been successfully piloted with 20,000 families in Suffolk and Oldham, will see homes earning less that £15,500 per year, or those on income support, provided with a free laptop and a broadband connection for a year.

After the year is up, the disadvantaged families will be allowed to keep thae laptop, but will have to fun the internet connection themselves.

Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said: "We want every family to become a broadband family, and we want every home linked to a school".

"For those finding it difficult to afford this... I can announce the nationwide rollout of our home access programme to get laptops and broadband at home for 270,000 families. It will mean all families can come together, learn together and reap rewards together."

Brown also revealed that the government would provide £300m to fund the scheme and children in care or those with special educational needs would be made a priority to receive the laptop and internet access.

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See also: Schools to give lessons in internet safety