Portugal Plays WiFi Catch Up – Selling Low Cost PCs

from the one-way-to-catch-up dept

Portugal has apparently decided that they’ve been a bit slow to catch on to this whole “WiFi” thing, and is looking for a way to catch up. The Portuguese government has determined that if students were using laptops and WiFi, then soon everyone would – so they’re actually selling cheap, WiFi-enabled laptops to students. They’ve done some sort of deal with a laptop wholesaler, and anyone who is a student can buy a discounted laptop. If they still can’t afford it, they’ll get a low cost loan to buy the laptop. At the same time, they’re trying to ensure that all universities are WiFi enabled (though, they don’t explain how). They also have stated their goal is to get 50% of all businesses with nine or more employees and 50% of all households surfing the WiFi highway by 2005. Of course, there isn’t much in the way of details on this story, and I’m a bit skeptical. Only 3% of people in the country currently have access to broadband – which is important to make WiFi worthwhile. At the same time, if I were a laptop/computer maker, I’d be pretty pissed off that the government was undercutting me, and taking away the entire education market.

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