Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum received from Mr Kevin Hutchens

  I wish to submit the following views.

  1.  The availability of computers in libraries has proved to be invaluable. However the prices vary from authority to authority, from free to £4 an hour. It would be helpful to users if one consistent rate could be encouraged.

  2.  Internet Cafes vary considerably in price and quality. As do Computers on Railway stations. While Easy Everything appear to offer an affordable way of accessing the internet I have one reservation.

  In the small print you have to accept that they will send adverts with the e-mails you may send. However you have no knowledge what the adverts are for. This requirement needs to be made clearer to users as to exactly what it means.

  3.  The basic prices for a reliable computer have to come down. At present the price structure gives the impression that the market does not allow prices to drop less than £599 for a reliable package, many would find this unaffordable.

  4.  Advertising on the Internet needs regulation. At present much of it is to say the least intrusive. A first step would be to establish a register of e-mail users who do not wish to receive unsolicited adverts by email.

  5.  The internet is a valuable, enjoyable resource, but it needs regulating and refining.

6 January 2002

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