The Mayor of London UK, Sadiq Khan, has today announced a new £10m project that aims to boost “full fibre” broadband coverage in the city by running optical fibre cables using the Tube network and public buildings. The work is considered to be the “first step” in their effort to “support faster connectivity for 400,000 homes.”
At present around 97% of premises in London can already access a “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) network, which mostly stems from Openreach’s (BT) FTTC (VDSL2) technology and Virgin Media’s soon to be Gigabit-capable cable network. On top of that around 70% of premises in London can also access “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) speeds; mostly as a result of Virgin.
Meanwhile the new generation of gigabit-capable (1Gbps+) “full fibre” networks are currently only available to around 13% of premises (Thinkbroadband), which is currently being delivered via a mix of operators such as Openreach, Hyperoptic, Virgin Media and Community Fibre etc.
In an effort to boost this the Mayor now hopes to make it possible for more of London to access gigabit-speed connectivity – starting with 118,000 properties in south London – by tackling “not spot” areas which suffer from poor connectivity.
Long before SD-WAN came into the market, replacing MPLS access circuits with locally-procured Internet access circuits has been a method used to reduce costs for international WAN networks (see White Paper: Is MPLS dying?). As we discussed in our last white paper, A buyer’s guide to SD-WAN, there has been much hype around SD-WAN cost benefits and our paper analysed the reality of this as well as setting out other expectations. Since publication we have spoken to a number of organisations keen to understand whether these potential costs savings (as well as the benefits of SD-WAN) apply to the UK domestic market in the same way as they do for global WANs.
TNC has the benefit of reviewing thousands of price points every month across a wide spectrum of organisations and vendors whether through procurement activities, benchmarking, reviews of existing pricing or vendor offers. It is through this insight that TNC can see that, today, there is little or no difference between domestic WAN access pricing, whether it be MPLS or internet, on a like for like basis.
This fact often comes as a surprise to organisations that have been exposed to relentless SD-WAN marketing over the last few years purporting that internet access is cheaper than MPLS access. So, the question we will now examine is why is this the case?
The Government Digital Service (GDS) plans to revise its “cloud first” policy to “cloud smart” or “consider cloud first” when new guidance is published early next year.
It emerged in May that the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and GDS were reviewing the original policy, which mandates central government departments to attempt to host all new technology in the public cloud.
During a workshop held over summer, CCS and GDS agreed to draw up revised rules for data storage procurement, alongside new guidance on the practical steps departments should take as they embark on digital transformation programmes.
Some critics have predicted that a move to water down the cloud first policy will result in a slower uptake of new technology in central government. But in an interview with NS Tech, Niall Quinn, the technology director of CCS, defended the decision.
The Government has today announced a new £1bn deal with Three UK, Vodafone, O2 and EE to establish a new Shared Rural Network (SRN), which will see the mobile operators working cooperatively together in order to extend the geographic coverage of 4G services to 95% of the UK by 2025.
The Government had previously committed in 2017 to ensure that mobile networks delivered 95% geographic 4G coverage of the UK by 2022, although clearly that will not now be achieved. By comparison Ofcom notes that at present the 4G geographic coverage from all operators is just 66% of the UK (91% if only looking at EE
The problem is that catering for remote rural areas is very expensive (not profitable) and there have been huge disagreements over how to achieve the desired outcome. One option, the idea of so-called Rural Roaming, was rejected by EE because they viewed it as giving a free ride to rivals that haven’t made the same investment (excluding ESN masts as those can be shared), not to mention stifling the attraction of future investments.
The web giant Amazon has cornered more than a third of the lucrative UK market in storing and processing government-held information, including sensitive biometric details and tax records, figures leaked to The Telegraph suggest.
The details come as Amazon is due to announce financial results this week that will highlight how important this part of the business, known as Amazon Web Services, is to the profitability of a company much better known for its online superstore.
In the first six months of this year, for example, AWS made $4.3bn (£3.33bn) on global revenues of $16bn, while the more famous part of Amazon made only $3.1bn on global revenues of $107bn.
AWS profits have been driven by rocketing demand for its “cloud” services – where customers pay to store data or buy processing power on computers owned and run by Amazon. AWS revenues from UK government contracts grew by more than 50pc last year, the leaked figures suggest.
The rise of intelligent and contextual contact centres.
Cognitive Collaboration is one of the biggest buzzwords associated with Cisco today. As a leader in the communication and collaboration marketplace, Cisco is striving to prove that if we want to achieve truly “unified” communications, we need to start by connecting not just people, but machines and intelligent systems too.
Today, just a single bad experience with a customer could be enough to send them running to your competitor, meaning that you lose out not just on sales, but on a reputation that matters too. At Cisco Live in June, Cisco started to introduce attendees to the concept of a cognitive and collaborative contact center, and what that really means in the age of experience.
The cloud has increasingly become a target for various types of fraud. So, how can enterprises and service providers proactively combat the threat?
The UK government has announced new cyber security initiatives through partnership with industry to ensure better protection for businesses and the public from cyber-attacks and online threats such as disinformation and cyber-bullying.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said that the government is partnering with Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm. Under the partnership, Arm will receive funding of £36m for five years to create chip technologies that are more resistant to cyber attacks and online threats.
According to the government, the cyber security project has the capability to stop hackers from remotely taking control of computer systems, help businesses have better protection against cyber attacks and data breaches, generate more business opportunities, and increase production.
Small businesses in the UK are suffering due to poor broadband and mobile connections, new research conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found.
According to the new digital infrastructure report, Lost Connection, almost one-third of small companies (33%) are receiving download speeds of less than 10mbps, which is inadequate to meet the present-day requirements of the firms. Furthermore, two in five (40%) said that their broadband speeds are not sufficient for their future needs.
The FSB research found that nearly half (45%) of small businesses are unable to get good connectivity on their mobiles, which rises to 57% in rural areas.
A third (32%) of small companies also claimed that poor mobile and broadband connectivity has stopped them from contacting or being contacted by existing or potential new clients.