Kcom sold for £504m to Universites Pensions

DCL Search

KCOM Group has been acquired for £504 million after an offer from Humber Bidco Ltd, a subsidiary of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme is a UK pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions.

The company has paid 97 pence per share, reflecting a 34% premium to KCOM’s closing price of 72.5 pence on Tuesday.

Shares in KCOM Group immediately jumped up by 34% on Wednesday afternoon.

Investment in ‘first class connectivity infrastructure’ a priority, EU Commission says


The cable industry’s ambitions of ubiquitous gigabit connectivity have long been hindered by a number of obstacles, including patchy coverage and consumer trust issues. Carlota Reyners Fontana explains what the EU Commission is doing to improve the bloc’s broadband gaps.

The European Court of Auditors have urged shelving EU targets of  providing all Europeans with broadband connection of over 30Mbps by 2020 because of concerns over rural coverage. What is the Commission doing to ensure that broadband connectivity is available to those who live in more rural areas of the bloc?

O2 mulls renewed challenge to BT’s leadership in UK broadband

Share Cast

Telefónica owned O2 is considering making another push into the UK’s fixed-line broadband market in a challenge of local incumbent BT, said Bloomberg on Thursday.

No plan had yet been tabled to the Spanish company’s executive committee and talks were at an early stage, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

In fact, the unnamed sources said Telefonica might yet decide not to go ahead with the project.

BT shares fell as much as 2.1% on the back of the news, but by 1559 BST were trading just 0.49% lower at 224.15p.

PM May approves Huawei for use in 5G networks despite opposition


Computer Weekly

The UK’s National Security Council has approved the use of Huawei’s networking equipment in parts of the country’s 5G mobile networks in spite of widespread opposition

The UK’s National Security Council (NSC) has reportedly approved the use of Huawei’s networking equipment in non-core parts of future 5G mobile networks, risking the wrath of key allies around the world.

The decision was made yesterday at a meeting of the NSC, which is chaired by prime minister Theresa May, and came despite apparent objections from, among others, defence secretary Gavin Williamson, home secretary Sajid Javid, international development secretary Penny Mordaunt and international trade secretary Liam Fox.

Demystifying digital transformation – A practitioner’s companion

People Matters

Every business model is getting turned on its head. People have to adapt to it in real time. The digital transformation needs a road map. The authors Nishith Sharan and Tushar Khosla suggest a 5 E model in an attempt to demystifying digital transformation.

I have heard and read about the 6D model of Peter Diamandis that explains how technology grows. The basic thesis is that when we digitise anything and turn it into ones and zeros, it has the opportunity to grow like information technology. That is stage 1 and is called “Digitisation”. 

Phase 2 is “Deceptive”. Many technologies that seem like modern day technology from AI to 3D printing have been around for decades. It is the long winter that is deceptive. Doubling .01 gets you .02 which is not very different. It is only when the growth moves to whole numbers that doubling starts to be noticeable. 1,2,4,8,16, 32, 64, 128 … 

Phase 3 is called Disruptive. If you can stream music, why buy CDs? If you can learn for free from the best institutions and teachers, it is only a question of time before education gets disrupted.

Phase 4 is called Demonetised. Software is less expensive to produce than hardware and is often free. Think of the vast number of free apps you have on your phone already.

Phase 5 is called Dematerialisation. The flashlight, GPS, compass, maps are all new apps and you get the functionality without having to carry the physical product. 

The 6th phase is called Democratisation. When powerful technology is available to everyone in an affordable manner, it gets democratised. Smartphones are in that zone. We no longer get surprised to see people at various economic levels carrying smartphones.

Finding the right balance between empathy and tech

Mobile Health News

An interview with Siddharth Sharma, patient advocate speaking at the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European conference in Helsinki this June.

When Siddharth Sharma received a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, his first reaction was to create a spreadsheet of health data.

“As an engineer, I did the most logical thing when I came back from the doctor with my insulin and my needles; I got out my laptop and opened a spreadsheet. I started logging everything to find out what was going on,” he tells MobiHealthNews.

However, Sharma knows that not all patients are as data savvy as him and insists that one size does not fit all when it comes to health technology.

Video project shines a light on tech sector

Eastern Daily Press

The tech sector is rapidly expanding throughout the Eastern Region, and to highlight this a group of local companies are planning an ambitious web video series.

Contributing billions to the local economy and employing nearly 50,000 people, the value of the tech industry in the East of England is massive.

To highlight the significance of the sector, the UEA and Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor are working with Archant – publisher of the Eastern Daily Press – and Tech East to produce a series of videos to display the technological advancements happening throughout the region.

The web series, entitled ‘The Disruptors’, will comprise 40 videos featuring 38 tech companies. The videos will showcase how these businesses are tackling global issues and changing industries.

Swapping to Broadband VoIP from a UK Copper Home Phone Line


The way people use home phone services is changing and many of us will eventually end up replacing our old analogue voice service with a Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) alternative, which uses your broadband ISPs internet connection to make calls. But how do you set it up and move (port) your number? We explain.

Firstly, a little context is required. According to Ofcom, during 2012 UK people made a total of 103 billion minutes of landline calls and this has since fallen to just 54 billion in 2017. Much of this change, which has had a negative impact on fixed line call revenues, is due to consumers making greater use of Mobile phones, internet messaging (Whatsapp, Facebook etc.) and VoIP services.

On top of that the roll-out of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / FTTH) based ultrafast broadband networks across the United Kingdom will eventually result in the retirement of old copper phone lines, which for many decades have been used to carry analogue phone (voice) signals (PSTN / POTS).