Subsidised devices or broadband connections are made available to increase the number of people who can access digital services and benefit from them as consumers.
United Kingdom: Supported by Microsoft, Get Online At Home offers subsidised desktop and laptop computers.
United States: Broadband service provider Comcast offers a combination of discounted broadband service, low-cost computers and free training under their Internet Essentials program.
China: Subsidies exist for farmers in rural areas of China to buy computers, to encourage economic activity in the country.
The One Laptop Per Child programme allows national governments to purchase custom-built, cheap laptops to enable children to learn digital skills. These devices have been distributed in the US, India, Mexico and Brazil.
Broadband subsidies could cause price increases for other customers.
The quality of subsidised devices or connections could be insufficient for basic needs, and/or tied to content providers.
The technology that governments procure could be outdated by the time these devices are delivered to citizens.