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Local councils and housing associations should be doing more to help their tenants take advantage of the internet, it has been claimed.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has called for broadband to be extended to the UK's poorest people, and this requires better infrastructure for internet access.

According to some estimates, up to half of all people living in council or housing association accommodation do not use the web.

This is making it more difficult for them to achieve consumer savings and even secure employment, Mr Shapps said.

“I'm calling on every social landlord to look long and hard at how they can help their tenants get online, from offering networks of public internet cafes to providing the technology to log on at home," he added.

"Internet connectivity should be a necessity, not a luxury, and government is committed to helping demolish this unacceptable digital divide that is blocking social mobility for millions of council tenants."

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