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New network offer

Cable companies have raised the stakes in their competition with BT to wire up Britain's schools to the Internet, with an offer to local education authorities to connect whole networks of schools.

An all-in-one package put together by cable firm Telewest, Internet service provider Research Machines and LINK Training builds on the cable industry's previous offer of Internet access at Pounds 1 per pupil.

Hailed by the Cable Communications Association as a model for the industry, the "E-cademy" includes in that price free cable TV and the use of RM's educational material.

But Telewest's goal is to get schools to join up en masse - ideally through their local education authority.

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