Friday, November 6, 1998 Published at 13:16 GMT
Not for the faint-hearted
Many teachers have not the faintest idea how to go about getting their school connected to the Internet.
Hitherto it has not been particularly simple. The organisation behind the National Grid for Learning - the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) - says that should now change.
There is a lot of money: £102m in the current year, £105m next year, and £450m announced on Friday by the prime minister for the following two years.
Hitherto one of the main reasons for the complexity has been that an already overworked school information and communications technology co-ordinator has had to get to grips with a plethora of computer suppliers, software companies and Internet Service Providers.
"We are going to be working with the industry to develop packages to supply schools with the lot - hardware, software, and the support to run it," said Sue Sanford. "We have already been talking to them for months about it.
"We can't wave a magic wand today but over the next few months getting the right sort of equipment ... should be a great deal easier."
If local authorities want help from Becta to put everything together it should be there, with advice on approved suppliers of these so-called managed services.
The other side of this coin is Mr Blair's "challenge" to industry to provide the managed services.
Proposals are being sought to come up with a 'one stop shop' way for schools to get their information and communications technology - leaving teachers free to concentrate on using the technology to teach.
Initial enquiries have to be made to Becta by 8 January next year.