News Stories


Stories from the Press about our Industry and Marketplace

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  • NEC steps in for 5G as UK–Japan sign free trade agreement
    Back at the start of 2020, when the UK was still mulling how to handle the issue of Huawei participating in its upcoming 5G networks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously asked the international community “what are the alternatives?” Since then, the UK initially banned Huawei from the core of its 5G network and limited its […]
  • China’s chip market set to achieve self-reliance within two years
    Under the pressure of US sanctions, China’s semiconductor industry is developing rapidly to accommodate soaring domestic demand. US sanctions against Chinese telecoms and technology firms have been relentless this year, having profound consequences for the telecoms industry around the world. Perhaps the most significant of these sanctions were those introduced in August, which restricted semiconductor […]
  • Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey warn that stripping tech firms of Section 230 protections would harm free expression on the internet
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plan to warn the Senate that stripping back Section 230 could harm free expression on the internet, according to testimonies they prepared for a Senate hearing on Wednesday, which will focus on the protections. Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 — an internet law that protects […]
  • Zoom finally adds end-to-end encryption for all, for free – though there are caveats
    Zoom has finally added end-to-end encryption to its video conferencing service at no additional cost for all users, whether they are paying subscribers or not. The company did not flag up in its announcement the caveats to its end-to-end encryption for video conferencing. These were provided on a separate webpage and blog post. Post expires […]
  • Facebook takes down more fake accounts, warns of ‘perception hacking’
    With just a week to go before the 2020 presidential election, Facebook has once again taken down networks of fake accounts that were targeting the US. As with other recent disclosures, Facebook says the networks were identified in an early stage. One, which consisted of a single Facebook account and 22 Instagram accounts, originated in […]
  • How have resellers adapted to remote selling?
    By now, most of us have adapted to the reality of remote selling, spending far less time with customers on-site than we used to. Clearly, it’s been a bit of a necessary evil, but now that the schools have gone back and the home office is a bit quieter for some of us, the novelty is fast wearing off.
  • Zoom starts rolling out end-to-end encryption
    Zoom is now rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for both free and paid users, so your video chats and meetings should be much more secure. You can activate E2EE on Zoom’s latest desktop client, Android app and Zoom Rooms starting today. It’ll be available on iOS soon after Apple approves an app update.
  • Ofcom Extend Broadband ISP Switching and Ban Locked Mobiles
    Ofcom UK has set out new measures that will make switching between broadband ISPs on physically separate networks easier (e.g. Openreach to Cityfibre), but due to the complexities involved providers will be given until December 2022 implement it. Mobile operators will also be banned from selling “locked” handsets.
  • Dendra System’s seed-spitting drones rebuild forests from the air
    The Earth is losing forests at an alarming rate. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost to agricultural use (largely cattle ranching, soya bean and oil palm farming) since 1990. Between 2015 and 2020, some 10 million hectares were destroyed each year. The Amazon rainforest, for example, lost an area the size of Yellowstone (3,769 square miles) in 2019, and saw deforestation rates spike 30 percent to their highest point in a decade.
  • Gigabit coverage in UK predicted to be 74.9% in December 2025
    The broadband roll-outs for full fibre appear to have settled into a pattern and this means it is possible to project what might happen if the commercial and BDUK roll-outs continue at their current rates and also what the impact of the Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.1 roll-out will have on the targets.
  • Gartner: Top strategic technology trends for 2021
    Cybersecurity mesh, AI engineering, and distributed cloud services are among the top trends that Gartner says will shape future enterprise IT operations. Companies need to focus on architecting resilience and accept that disruptive change is the norm, says research firm Gartner, which unveiled its annual look at the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to prepare for in the coming year. Gartner unveiled this year’s list at its flagship IT Symposium/Xpo Americas conference, which is being held virtually this year.
  • 6 Reasons Why Internal Data Centres Won’t Disappear
    Even with cloud, companies don’t want to give up their internal data centres. Why do data centres have such staying power? Although the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 17.5%, on-premise servers still operate in 98% of businesses. Industry “started with mainframes, then we went to standalone servers, and then cloud was a big thing,” said Peter Tsai, a senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, an IT community forum. “Now it seems like we’re pulling computing resources back, closer to where they’re needed.” Indeed, internal data centres are not going away — even as enterprises are outsourcing more IT to the cloud. The result has been a hearty embrace of hybrid computing, where some IT assets are outsourced to the cloud and others are maintained within corporate walls. Just what are the driving forces for maintaining internal data centres and IT management?
  • UK stakes further claim in small-satellite launch business
    The UK government evidently wants to cash in on the growing demand for launch capacity of small satellites, driven largely by “Internet-in-the-sky” projects like Elon Musk’s Starlink, and create more employment opportunities. The UK Space Agency said “hundreds of space jobs” will be created in Scotland now that the government has approved plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its “UK Pathfinder Launch” to the Shetland site at Lamba Ness on the island of Unst. (Located in the Shetland Islands, Unst is about as far north as you can get when it comes to inhabited parts of the UK.)
  • Shell, Sky and TalkTalk Eyeing Post Office Telecoms Acquisition
    Several UK ISPs including Shell Energy, Sky Broadband and TalkTalk are today reportedly all being named as the “remaining bidders” for the Post Office’s telecoms division, specially its base of around 500,000 broadband and phone customers – said to be valued at around £100m. The situation arguably began last year after the Post Office put out a Prior Information Notice (PIN), which sought suppliers for a “range of goods and services in order to continue to provide telecommunications services” to consumers (prior to this they held a managed service agreement with TalkTalk’s Wholesale division).
  • Dulux feel lucky, punk? Samsung wades into paint world with interior emulsions designed to ‘complement’ your, er, TV
    You’ve got the TV. You splashed out on the sound system. But do you have the paint? That’s the question posed by Samsung, which just introduced LivingColour — a range of paint designed to cover the wall behind your pricey flat-screen idiot box
  • A Communication Fabric for Today’s Omni-Channel Digital Experience
    Why is the Communication Fabric important? Contemporary digital experiences include the ability to communicate via multiple channels such as voice, text, web, chat, and video. It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to begin a transaction in one channel and switch to a different channel before completing their business, especially in e-commerce.
  • Nokia warns IoT malware infection rate has doubled
    IoT adoption is taking off at a rapid pace, and so is the rate at which connected devices are being compromised by hackers. According to Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report, IoT devices comprise 32.7 percent of infected devices on mobile networks, up from 16.2 percent in 2019. Windows PC’s claimed top spot with an infection rate of 38.9 percent; Android smartphones occupy third place with 26.6 percent.
  • WhatsApp Business gets serious: To offer in-app purchases, cloud hosting services
    The messaging app Whatsapp is set on a new avenue to explore monetising prospects. The Facebook-owned has come out with three announcements aimed to boost the business infrastructure across the platform
  • Survey Identifies the Top 5G Mobile Myths Among UK People
    A new Censuswide survey of 2,006 UK adults, which was conducted during August 2020, has helped to reveal roughly what proportion of people believe various different myths and falsehoods about the latest generation of ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband technology. Sadly 7% still believe 5G is connected to the spread of COVID-19.
  • Gamma signs deal with housebuilder
    Gamma has signed a strategic agreement with leading housebuilder Persimmon plc to provide voice communication services to its new homes via its unique ISP, FibreNest.
  • Ofcom sets out regulation for video sharing platforms
    Ofcom has published a guide to the new regulatory requirements for when it takes on the role of regulating UK-based video-sharing platforms (VSPs).
  • National Audit Office publishes ‘improving broadband’ report
    The National Audit Office published a new report, titled “Improving Broadband”, that considers progress made to the UK’s Superfast Programme and its aim to achieve nationwide fibre coverage by 2025. The report found that this is a “challenging timeline” and highlighted the importance of setting and publishing a realistic timetable and continuing to test whether this is achievable
  • Sky UK to Open First Retail Shops Across the Country
    Broadband ISP and TV provider Sky (Sky Broadband) has today announced that they are to start opening retail shops across the United Kingdom, with the first being in Liverpool on 26th October 2020. This will be the first time all of their products have been under one roof.
  • Gartner crystal ball: Look to neuromorphic computing, DNA storage
    Gartner is taking a swing at predicting future trends in IT, flagging neuromorphic computing and DNA storage technologies, and an expanded responsibility for CIOs to deliver digital-business outcomes.
  • Vodafone UK Re-purposes Phone Boxes in Brighton to Boost 4G
    Mobile operator Vodafone UK has managed to boost their 4G (mobile broadband) signal in the coastal East Sussex city of Brighton by installing small cells on top of five phone boxes, some of which appear to have been previously owned by arch rival BT (many of those are now standing disused)
  • ISPA Begins Hunting for 2020’s UK Internet Heroes
    The UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has today called for members of the public and industry alike to submit nominations for its 2020 “Internet Hero” award, with the eventual winner being announced via a special online ceremony on the 18th November 2020 at the 22nd annual ISPA Awards event.
  • Fast Broadband Supports Top 104 UK Places for Home Working
    Comparison site Uswitch has today published a new Remote Working Index (RWI), which ranks 104 of the United Kingdom’s biggest towns and cities by seven metrics to help identify the best places for people who have to work from home (access to superfast broadband, crime rate, green spaces, property prices etc.).
  • Upcoming webinar: From UCaaS to CCaaS
    The Customer Experience marketplace has changed, and channel partners aiming to thrive must supply value that is strategic to their customers’ needs. Otherwise, they risk lower margins and a lack of buyer engagement in the months ahead
  • Buying digitally, with social purpose
    Improving procurement globally has benefits for citizens, civil servants and governments around the world. It helps tackle corruption and improves services for users. With the global cost of corruption being more than an estimated US$2.6 trillion every year, and with businesses and individuals paying more than US$1 trillion in bribes every year, it also has potential to save vast sums of money
  • New Gartner Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions
    Gartner has published a new Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions. This analyst report evaluated the strengths of the following vendors: Adobe, Avaya, BlueJeans by Verizon, Cisco, Google, Huawei, Kaltura, Lifesize, LogMeIn, Microsoft, Pexip, Quanshi, StarLeaf, TrueConf, and Zoom. Gartner defines ‘Meeting Solutions’ as offerings that “blend communications, collaboration and content sharing to enable virtual meeting […]
  • O2 Reveals Top UK Cities with Highest Mobile Data Consumption
    Mobile operator O2 (Telefonica) has revealed a list of the top 10 most data hungry (mobile broadband) UK cities for September 2020, which sees Bradford top the list after it saw data consumption on their network jump by 50% when compared with the same time last year. Meanwhile Coventry came a close second (47%). The figures may partly reflect the fact that Bradford is about to enter its third month of local COVID-19 restrictions. Since the start of lockdown O2 has upgraded 4G capacity in over 8,800 postcodes across some of these cities, including 1,600 in Bradford, 1,300 in Sheffield and 1,200 in Hull. As people increasingly rely on technology to keep them connected with loved ones, O2 found that data traffic spikes since lockdown have often coincided with key moments for the country, including the end of the Premier League season, the Champions League final and the Government’s lockdown announcement at the end of April 2020.
  • UK claims number 2 spot in OECD digital government rankings
    I’m delighted to share that the UK has come second in the Digital Government Index (DGI) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The rankings were announced at the OECD’s flagship E-Leaders annual meeting today, which we attended (virtually). This top ranking is something we are really proud of at the Government Digital Service (GDS), and it reflects the hard work of teams across GDS and the thousands of digital, data and technology (DDaT) professionals across the function.
  • UK broadband targets “challenging”
    The National Audit Office has said the government’s target for rolling out superfast broadband will be “particularly difficult” to achieve for the hardest to reach premises. In its report Improving Broadband, the NAO found the 2010 scheme to deliver Superfast Broadband helped extend the UK’s superfast broadband coverage, but many people still experience poor broadband, particularly in rural areas. Previous the DCMS has prioritised increasing broadband coverage over speed. This was changed in 2018 when the government announced a new policy for the UK’s telecoms industry to provide infrastructure capable of faster gigabit speeds to 50% of premises by 2025, and nationwide by 2033. The later date was subsequently brought forward to 2025, a target that the NAO describes as “challenging”.
  • DCMS publishes post Brexit advice
    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has published details on how rules for broadcasters and providers of video on-demand services will change after the Brexit transition period. The publication came ahead of prime minister Boris Johnson’s statement warning the UK to prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. From 1 January 2021, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the country of origin principle will no longer apply to services under UK jurisdiction broadcast into the EU.
  • New Oxford machine learning-based COVID-19 test can provide results in under 5 minutes
    Oxford scientists working out of the school’s Department of Physics have developed a new type of COVID-19 test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 with a high degree of accuracy, directly in samples taken from patients, using a machine learning-based approach that could help sidestep test supply limitations, and that also offers advantages when it comes to detecting actual virus particles, instead of antibodies or other signs of the presence of the virus which don’t necessarily correlate to an active, transmissible case. The test created by the Oxford researchers also offer significant advantages in terms of speed, providing results in under five minutes, without any sample preparation required. That means it could be among the technologies that unlock mass testing – a crucial need not only for getting a handle on the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also on helping us deal with potential future global viral outbreaks, too. Oxford’s method is actually well-designed for that, too, since it can potentially be configured relatively easily to detect a number of viral threats.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak struck a UK ballistic-missile sub after sailors broke isolation rules at a US Navy base
    A UK ballistic-missile submarine has had a COVID-19 outbreak, with more than one-fourth of its crew getting sick after a recent visit to a US Navy base. More than 30 sailors aboard Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant, one of four that maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent, tested positive after crew members reportedly broke isolation rules and went off base. The US Navy had outbreaks on its ships earlier this year, the most serious of them on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, but it has taken aggressive measures to prevent the spread.
  • A looming no-deal Brexit may disastrously shut down the flow of data between the EU and the UK
    The UK has quit the EU and may deviate from its strict data privacy laws if the two can’t agree a trade deal before the post-Brexit transition period ends, he writes. Future data flows between the UK and the EU have emerged as a key bone of contention during the deal discussions. It’s hugely valuable for British businesses to access customers in the EU, but the UK has to prove its post-Brexit data protection is up to snuff.
  • Winter is coming: BT looks to disrupt content streaming
    BT is the first operator to use a new service from Cisco designed to improve the performance of video streaming as we huddle round our screens. As we head for winter and the possibility of more lockdowns, BT is the first operator to deploy edge-based, open caching as a service created by Cisco, Qwilt and Digital Alpha. The big deal here is the technology promises to give the operator much better control over the content’s flow to provide consistent, high quality service to consumers. It is expected that video streaming will account some 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022, with 4K the norm and 8K on the horizon. The tech will be complemented by additional terabits of capacity added to BT’s network.
  • Funding fibre
    The Government has committed to ensuring nationwide gigabit broadband coverage by 2025. This report finds that without significant policy reform, the Government is unlikely to meet its target of full fibre to the premises (FTTP) rollout within the next five years. This report discusses the current state of broadband availabiltiy and fibre rollout progress across the UK, alongside a closer look at Ofcom’s future regulatory framework, designed to increase investment in fibre broadband. Through a series of case studies it examines the various policy approaches to fibre rollout adopted internationally, exploring what “policy mix” could propel the UK’s FTTP rollout forwards. It also makes a series of recommendations based on concerns around consumer protection, demand stimulation and shared investment risks.
  • 150,000 Premises in Wales to Get FTTP Broadband Under New Deal
    Cardiff-based UK ISP Spectrum Internet, which earlier this year revealed that they hoped to build a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to 150,000 homes and businesses across South Wales (here), has today announced that they’ve secured enough investment from Infracapital to get started. The project, which is expected to result in the creation of a further 140 jobs, will see Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of M&G Plc, provide cornerstone funding to help Spectrum Internet begin their deployment across parts of South Wales. The plan is to complete this initial build by around the end of 2025.
  • Mapping the “Start a Business” journey on GOV.UK
    The ‘Start a Business’ team on GOV.UK has been working with data scientists and engineers on the GOV.UK Data Labs team to make better use of end-to-end user journey data, including to see if there are any software or programmes available that can visualise these end-to-end journeys and how we may be able to use them to analyse journeys further to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Zoom is releasing a new tool to let paid users charge for admission to online events like conferences or fitness classes
    Zoom is introducing OnZoom, a new way to host events — free and paid — using the popular videoconferencing tool. Zoom has come to be used to host all kinds of events amid the pandemic, from board meetings and conferences to fitness classes and concerts. The new OnZoom platform includes the ability to charge for tickets, as well as a directory of public event listings. Zoom is also launching a new kind of app integration, called a Zapp, that can bring information from productivity tools like Dropbox, Slack, or Asana directly into a video chat. Facebook launched its own features for paid videoconferencing events over the summer.
  • UK taxman waves through £168.8m Fujitsu contract because no one else can hold up 30-year-old infrastructure
    What’s another three years amid project delays and Brexit uncertainty? UK tax collector HMRC has awarded Fujitsu a £168.8m contract without competition to ensure critical applications keep running as projects to replace them are delayed and Brexit pressures mount. Under the deal, the Japan-based IT services firm is set to continue hosting for 13 HMRC applications on its Virtual Managed Environment (VME) Platform. At the same time, Fujitsu will continue to support the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system beyond the 31 March end point of the current agrement, according to a tender document. Both services are now set to be run by Fujitsu until 2025.
  • 5G in the UK: everything you need to know
    The 5G when, who, where and how much 5G in the UK is here! Or, at least, it is in certain places, and we know when it will be in many, many more, which is half the battle. The 5G networks in the UK are launching in a very staggered manner, as some have been available since May 2019, while we’re still waiting for others to roll out. Even with the networks that have launched, their 5G offerings aren’t available nationwide, and on top of that many phones don’t support 5G yet, so a lot of people can’t take advantage of the new, super-speedy connectivity yet.
  • Hackers hack Hackney: Local government cries ‘cyberattack’ while UK infosec officials rush to figure out what happened
    Hackney Council in East London has declared that it was hit by a “cyberattack” – but both the authority and officials from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) remain tight-lipped about what actually happened. In a statement published on the council website this morning, local mayor Philip Glanville said: “Hackney Council has been the target of a serious cyberattack, which is affecting many of our services and IT systems.”
  • Are Whitehall departments cosying up to their trusted pals again?
    Rob Anderson, Principal Analyst for Central Government in the GlobalData Public Sector Technology team, looks at a recent series of ICT contract extensions and asks if the supplier pendulum is swinging back towards traditional Systems Integrators (SI). When you have a sector to cover as broad and diverse as central government, it’s sometimes easy to overlook a series of individual events that potentially begin to form a trend. I’m grateful, therefore, to a recent query from a client who had noticed a number of significant contract extensions awarded over the last few weeks without competitive re-tendering.
  • Facebook donates £1 million to WWII code-breaking site Bletchley Park
    The museum is facing a £2 million revenue shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bletchley Park was the site where Alan Turing and a World War II team of code-breakers cracked Germany’s Enigma machine and helped save the world from Nazi tyranny. The site is now a popular museum, but it’s facing a £2 million ($2.6 million) revenue shortfall due to the loss of tourism caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Facebook has announced that it will donate £1 million to the Bletchley Park Trust charity that runs the site.
  • Liberty and Telefónica warn of potential delay as CMA requests EC to refer Virgin Media-O2 merger back
    Liberty Global and Telefónica have warned of a potential delay to the merger of their UK operations after UK competition watchdog the CMA, has made a request to the European Commission to refer the proposed combination of Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile with O2 to it.
  • Virtual trade shows: how was it for you?
    t was a couple of IBCs ago when some people started to point out that the increased pervasiveness of the cloud in broadcasting meant that some things were being lost in a maze of monotonous cloud-based TV demos (see One analyst even commented, only half-jokingly, that with all the product and services virtualisation taking place, the industry may as well just virtualise the entire trade show experience. That has happened, somewhat ahead of time, in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic. For an industry that has relied on a relentless, almost weekly, beat of conferences and exhibitions that serve a variety of purposes, it is worth asking what lessons have been learned from this year, what 2021 has in store and what is the long term future of trade shows?
  • DaaS: the natural next step?
    Mobile phone, music, and TV subscription services with monthly contracts have triggered a new wave of buying trends. This shift to staggered payments instead of one upfront cost is a compelling option for a business world looking to hold onto cash. As such, DaaS is playing a bigger role in how businesses procure and deploy technology. Devices have a residual value and DaaS ensures companies maximise their assets. Resellers dovetailing DaaS with Software as a Service (SaaS), are already reaping impressive rewards.
  • £96m laptop contracts went to Tory donor’s firm
    A firm handed almost £100 million worth of contracts to supply laptops to disadvantaged children without an open tender was founded by a Tory donor. Computacenter Ltd was chosen by the Department for Education to deliver 230,000 laptops to vulnerable pupils after the Covid school lockdowns.
  • ISP TalkTalk Opens £1.1bn UK Takeover Talks with Toscafund
    Broadband provider TalkTalk has today announced that they have received a preliminary and non-binding takeover proposal from Toscafund Asset Management (TAM), which intends to pay 97p for every share (valuing the deal at around £1.1bn). The new owner, if successful, would seek to take the ISP private. Post expires at 12:56am on Friday April 9th, […]
  • Openreach announces 51 more exchanges where analogue services will not be provisioned
    While the core telephone network has been digital for a long time, the old copper network remained distinctly analogue and the roll-out of full fibre is being used to push towards all digital telephone services. Openreach has announced a list of 51 exchanges where it will stop selling legacy analogue services in October 2021. These […]
  • Parliament report links Huawei to CCP, could lead to accelerated ban
    A report released by Parliament’s Defence Committee says there is “clear evidence of collusion” between Huawei and the Chinese government. Huawei’s relationship with the CCP has been at the heart of security fears which have plagued the company over the last year, with the US being particularly vocal in denouncing the company’s network equipment as […]
  • What happened when we stopped having meetings and sending emails
    At GDS, we’ve always promoted the benefits of working in multidisciplinary teams, being co-located as much as possible. All that changed in late March when everyone shifted to working from home by default. We wanted to take advantage of the change to try new working practices in GOV.UK Pay, inspired by a blog post about […]
  • Ofcom Reveals Key UK Mobile Network and WiFi Usage Trends
    Ofcom and crowdsourced benchmark firm umlaut have examined a sample size of 200,000 Android using UK mobile users between January and April 2020 to identify key trends. For example, people were connected to 4G for 82% of the time in urban areas, but only 76% in rural ones (most of the rest was spent on […]
  • Vodafone UK Cuts Carbon Footprint by 25,000 Tonnes of CO2
    Mobile operator Vodafone UK has managed to save 100 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy, equivalent to 25,000 tonnes of CO2 or a financial saving of around £10m, in the space of just three years. All of this will support their pledge to use 100% renewable electricity by July 2021 and to help customers save 350 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
  • How to save times and work faster with AutoHotKey
    Read about a tool robust enough for power users but accessible enough for everyone
  • Wi-Fi 6 creates new IoT opportunities and new testing requirements
    Think back to the beginning of 2020, and try to imagine what your pre-pandemic self might have listed as the essential tools you need to live and work productively. Now think about the new additions that would be on that list today: a mask, certainly, and perhaps an ever-ready bottle of hand sanitizer, but there are probably some more technical items on that list as well
  • UK broadband bills set to rise and Openreach’s dominance is to blame, says TalkTalk
    TalkTalk says regulators must step in to protect customers as an economic crisis looms TalkTalk has today decried the decision to allow Openreach to increase wholesale prices by inflation rather than costs, saying that such measures squeezes customers already being hit by the economic pressures of the pandemic.