With so much of a focus on Brexit, it is easy to forget that many local areas will be going to the polls in just a matter of months. To be precise, elections will take place in May for 261 local authority areas in England, six directly elected mayors and all 11 local councils in Northern Ireland.
Naturally, each locality has its specific issues. The solutions to these issues will of course lie at the heart of the election campaigns as they unfold. More and more though, these solutions include increasingly relevant technology for local populations – technology which continues to evolve at an incredible pace.
Central London has had a poor reputation for the levels of superfast broadband coverage for a while now but things are changing with several providers rolling out full fibre and one of those is Community Fibre.
Think Broadband’s broadband map has updated to reflect the latest availability of Community Fibre along with the detail in their postcode search.
Estimates predict that there will be 1 billion 5G users worldwide by 2023.
The potential impact of 5G technology has been well discussed in recent years, writes Caroline Puygrenier, the director of strategy and business development for connectivity at Interxion. The technology has the potential to dramatically improve data speeds, increase network bandwidth and reduce latency, transforming every industry from manufacturing and marketing to communications and entertainment.
However, despite the first deployments of 5G and the launch of the first 5G-compatible devices expected this year, we don’t anticipate the impact of widespread 5G implementation to be fully felt in 2019. Instead, this year will be more of starting point for change as businesses continue to invest in rearchitecting existing networks and infrastructure ready to host 5G networks.
Anwen Robinson, UK Operating Officer at TechnologyOne discusses the opportunity for local authorities to determine a place within the emerging smart city world – and how they can prepare themselves for the transition.
As everyday devices become internet-enabled and mobile connectivity advances, many UK cities are racing to utilise this data and technology. From smart water grids, that manage the quantity and safety of water consumption to monitoring traffic patterns in order to combat congestion; smart cities and the technologies driving them have the ability to improve the lives of residents, increase operational efficiencies and progress the quality of government services.
The latest KPMG report into the readiness of countries for the adoption of driverless cars (autonomous vehicles) has seen the United Kingdom fall two places to be ranked 7th overall, which is just behind Sweden and Finland. Apparently we’re being hampered by poor infrastructure, particularly 4G mobile coverage and road quality.
The 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index ranks 25 countries by four key categories of progress, including policy & legislation, technology & innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance. The United Kingdom actually does quite well for most of the criteria except infrastructure.
Health secretary reveals email will be opened up to allow use of ‘any secure email provider’
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock wants the NHS to eradicate the use of pen and paper communications with patients.
Speaking at the NHS England conference taking place this week, Hancock told attendees that he wanted healthcare staff to be able email patients directly about appointments. To help promote the use of email, the health secretary announced that NHS organisations will soon be permitted to use any email system considered to be secure – not just the NHSmail communications service.
This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. Every week, in partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the most valuable tenders and awards from the last seven days. Here’s what we found this week…
Top five tenders
The Post Office is searching for a series of suppliers to support the delivery of a £357m automation programme. “This procurement is for the provision of transaction processing, managed services and hardware for the automation of a proportion of 11,500 Post Office branches,” the notice states. “Solutions will depend upon the demands of each branch and a number of demographics such as geographic location and cash in/outflow.”
The contract has been divided into five lots, including ATM switching, fraud and security solutions, cash management, self-service hardware and teller cash automation supply. Vendors have until 11 March to submit their bids.
- Post Office – Banking Automation – £357m
- Bank of England – RTGS renewal – £1,5m
- Hertfordshire County Council – Hertfordshire Superfast Broadband – £11m
- NHS 24 – Ccbt Software – £2m
- Coventry City Council – ERP for UKBIC – £1m
Exponential‐e, the British Cloud, Network, and Unified Communications provider, have this week announced the latest phase of its Software Defined Digital Platform (SD-DP)
SD-DP is an integrated platform designed to underpin any organisation’s digital transformation. The SD-DP is comprised of core and edge computing, bonded with SD-WAN, SD-Data Centre to form a robust, underlying advanced network that enables data to flow freely yet securely between multiple clouds. Combined with multi-various tools and services, these components form an intelligent, agile, safe, and cost-effective digital transformation stack for all modern organisations.
Lee Wade, CEO & founder of Exponential-e, commented:
“With this evolution of our SD-DP, Exponential-e customers have the assurance and confidence that their digital transformation (DX) partner has the full range of professional services and capabilities to help them on their DX journey. Concerns around cloud complexity, business continuity and security can be consigned to the past, along with fretting about fixing their legacy systems. We take care of that. Our most recent technological development for the SD-DP is our Cloud Management Platform (CMP). This allows our customers to manage their data and cost bases of multiple cloud platforms through a single pane of glass.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has developed a self-administration portal for public sector IT teams to register with the GovWifi service.
It has taken the step to make it simpler for the teams to register their organisations than under the manual process involving emails and phone calls.
The team behind GovWifi is currently testing a prototype and taking user feedback. According to a blogpost by service manager Steve Wood, organisations can already check whether they meet the technical requirements to join the service and create an admin account.
This gives them the ability to add their IP addresses to the server, add team members as administrators and view and agree the terms and conditions.
The blog says that more than 100 local and central government organisations have now signed up to GovWifi, which was set up to give users in registered organisations automatic access to the Wi-Fi service within public sector buildings.