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BT is to deliver free Wi-Fi at public buildings in deprived areas across England, as it looks to increase access to broadband technology.

Working in partnership with Barclays, the service provider is to offer free connectivity at 57 libraries, 13 community centres and a further ten sites, including care homes, charity homes and homeless centres.

Barclays Digital Eagles - specially trained members of staff who provide free technology advice - will work at the new Wi-Fi sites to help local people build confidence and develop the digital skills they need.

Anna Easton, Head of BT’s connected society programme, said the company believes in the power of communication to make a better world.

"We want to ensure that everyone can not only access the digital world, but also have the skills and support they need to stay online in the long term," she stated.

"An evaluation of our existing digital inclusion programmes shows that for the elderly and unemployed, both access and long-term support in the community is essential."

Ms Easton claimed the partnership with Barclays will ensure digital support is available for those that need it the most.

Through its digital inclusion strategy, the government is aiming to reduce the number of people offline in the UK by 25 per cent by 2016.

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