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Consumers who take part in Internet Workshops organised by Argos can get their hands on a free tablet computer and 12 months' free broadband.

The retailer, working in association with digital skills charity Go ON UK and broadband provider TalkTalk, is aiming to increase online participation rates in Britain.

As estimated 9.5 million UK consumers are still not online, and Argos wants to see many of these people embrace the world wide web.

Its programme of Internet Workshops will run across 120 communities, starting in late October and continuing until the middle of January.

Specially-trained Argos employees will help session participants learn how to use a tablet, connect to the internet and surf the web, use a search engine, set up email, stay safe online and more.

A total of 10,000 people will be able to take part. They will be charged a £20 fee to participate, but will receive a free Proscan 7” dual core internet tablet (8GB) and a free broadband subscription.

Each participant will be registered with TalkTalk's SimplyBroadband package - which is ordinarily priced at £3.50 per month - for 12 months.

The only cost during this period will be line rental, which consumers will already be paying if they have a home phone service.

TalkTalk will also provide a receive a free broadband installation and a free router, meaning there are no set-up charges to worry about.

TalkTalk SimplyBroadband offers up to 17Mb download speeds with an unlimited monthly usage allowance.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos, said that although the digital revolution is continuing apace, millions of people remain on the side-lines.

"Argos' Internet Workshops have been developed to help people overcome the barriers of access and affordability and improve their knowledge, understanding and confidence in digital technology," he stated.

"The internet is becoming increasingly essential in day-to-day life, and offers a world of new possibilities that we believe everyone should be able to access."

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