Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office, blogged about our appointments to the senior leadership of the DDaT (Digital, Data and Technology) profession in January of this year.
Since we started our respective roles in February, we have done a lot of listening to our teams, other government departments, and other important stakeholders. What we’ve identified is that we all have considerable ambitions for digital products, platforms and services, and for the government DDaT function.
The lessons we learned from coronavirus (COVID-19) have shown us that now, more than ever, digital must be front and centre of government’s priorities to meet user needs and this is the perfect time for us to accelerate the digital transformation of public services across the whole of government.
What we’ve been less clear about previously though is that there are 2 quite distinct challenges and opportunities that we need to support:
leading the cross-government community of DDaT professionals and putting the strategy, standards and assurance mechanisms in place to deliver transformation at scale
building, supporting and iterating digital products, platforms and services that can be built once and used across government
From today, the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) will lead the DDaT function. This is the next step for DDaT in government, allowing us to go further and faster by strengthening our collective leadership.
The London Internet Exchange (LINX), which through its switches handles a key chunk of UK and global data traffic from 965 members (broadband ISPs, mobile operators etc.), has today reported that they hit a new total traffic peak last week of 6.05Tbps (Terabits per second).
The new 6.05Tbps peak, which was officially recorded on Tuesday 6th April 2021 at 8:35pm, excludes traffic passed between LINX members using the Private Interconnect service. According to LINX, this service is traditionally popular with larger content networks and is currently used by over 100 LINX members, currently at 887 individual private peering point to point connections, many of which are 100G ports.
LINX has a number of exchanges across the UK and their biggest two are based in London, hence the name. In keeping with that a new maximum peak also occurred on LINX’s primary exchange in London, LON1, as this platform alone reached 5.17Tbps on the same day.
A new report from mobile benchmarking firm RootMetrics has used the data they gathered for their previous H2 2020 study (here) to rank 16 of the United Kingdom’s largest and fastest cities by their average (median) download speed on 4G and 5G networks. Liverpool came top with an aggregate speed of 43.6Mbps.
The company typically uses a team of testers to walk and drive around each city while running tests via a set of regular Samsung Note 10+ 5G Smartphones. Using this method, they found that Vodafone clocked the fastest overall median download speed in Liverpool at 73.5Mbps, while EE earned honours in Birmingham on 79.5Mbps.
The 5G-only speeds in both of the top fastest cities were also excellent, with only one operator in either market posting a 5G speed below 112Mbps. But even then, Three UK’s 5G speed of 94.1Mbps in Birmingham was still nothing to sniff at. Sadly, the company doesn’t include a split of 4G vs 5G speeds by each city, instead we only get a general average below.
The convergence between telecoms and IT services businesses has long been discussed in the industry, however, it is the last 12 months that has caused the most significant convergence between the two.
It is therefore important to now assess and understand what has changed, and the effects this shift will have on both telecoms and IT services businesses’ growth in the future.
The UK government has created the Digital Markets Unit to tackle the growing problem of US tech giants using their size to stifle competition.
Modeled on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the DMU will focus solely on digital giants, who dominate the internet space and thus, by definition, restrict competition. While it will look at general competition and data privacy, initially at least it seems to have been instructed to look at the dynamic in which traditional media has seen its revenues hoovered up by Google and Facebook and is thus in steep decline.
“Today is a major milestone in the path to creating the world’s most competitive online markets, with consumers, entrepreneurs and content publishers at their heart,” said Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden “The Digital Markets Unit has launched and I’ve asked it to begin by looking at the relationships between platforms and content providers, and platforms and digital advertisers.
“This will pave the way for the development of new digital services and lower prices, give consumers more choice and control over their data, and support our news industry, which is vital to freedom of expression and our democratic values.”
Free, rapid lateral flow tests for coronavirus are now available in England, but the government notifications confirming the results appear to contravene several articles of the GDPR.
All results from the new tests, even if negative, should be reported; but Dr Kuan Hon, director at Fieldfisher, writes that confirmatory emails from the Gov.UK Notify service contain personally identifiable information (PII), and are likely to have issues with GDPR compliance.
As well as general coronavirus advice like the importance of social distancing, each Notify email contains the user’s name, date of birth and NHS number. As Kuan says, “Full marks for promptness, but – for security/privacy…?”