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Tuesday, 7 April, 1998, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Whitehall gets wired
Red box
Government is going hi-tech with lap tops and an extensive Intranet replacing document boxes
Huge multinationals are not the only organisations turning to the Intranet. Whitehall, home to Britain's vast central government machine, is already wired up in a pilot project which will connect 500,000 civil servants later this month.

It is a core initiative in achieving Prime Minister Tony Blair's stated objective that by 2002, 25% of government business should be done electronically.

Parallel sister networks are also planned in schools, the health service and local government.

Cabinet ministers are now feeling their way round the tightly managed database carrying a weight of information and media reports about government policies.

Intranet suits any size

Another high-profile lift for the Intranet will come this summer when 12,000 journalists at the World Cup are wired up. Competition organisers are keen to keep the press on-side and know that to do so, they must deliver information quickly.

The pay-off for organisations with plenty of staff is not in question. But, says Wayne Donaldson, of BT Intranet, there are also benefits for companies employing just a handful.

"Our smallest customer has just four users," says Mr Donaldson.

"Its usefulness depends more on the dynamics of a company than its size. The biggest benefits are for businesses with people scattered in different workplaces."

See also:

06 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Goodbye phone, hello intranet
07 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Intranet saves millions for BT
07 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Intranet poised for take-off
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