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  • Four Critical Network Components to Navigate the WFH Future
    While the COIVD-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every facet of our daily lives, many businesses and employees are seeing their operations can still take place remotely relatively seamlessly. But imagine if the pandemic happened 30 or 40 years earlier, when connectivity networks barely existed, this transition to remote working would not have been the case for a lot of enterprises. Many workers would be left sitting by their landlines and shuffling papers, with many of their day-to-day responsibilities coming to a crashing halt. Fast-forwarding to now, with next-generation network infrastructures and advanced connectivity within the comfort of our homes, business operations can continue with minimal disruption to the workforce. However, the pandemic has revealed a few areas where we can enhance our networks, so they’re better equipped to handle the unexpected.
  • Virgin Media Records Strong Quarterly UK Broadband Growth
    Broadband and TV provider Virgin Media (Liberty Global) has today published their Q2 2020 results, which saw them add +39,200 new UK internet customers in the quarter (up from +8,200 last quarter) to total 5,318,400. At the same time their network coverage grew by 93,000 premises (unchanged). At this point it’s probably fair to say that VM have had an extremely busy quarter. The biggest development, by far, has been the agreement to merge with mobile operator O2 and they’ve separately decided to shut all of their remaining outlets on the high street. On top of that they’ve also made their 516Mbps plan more widely available and will upgrade their Ultimate Oomph TV bundle to 600Mbps.
  • The COVID-19 Recovery – Adaptation of Public Services, Places, and Monitoring
    As the UK starts to recover from the first COVID-19 wave, hoping to be the last, the pandemic has brought deep economic and lifestyle changes to many citizens, with reverberations that might last for years to come. The way people work, commute, shop, and socialize has drastically changed in such a short time span, and many adaptations were required in an effort to curb the number of infections in the country. According to the ONS, 46.6% of British workers worked from home from April 2020 onwards, and 86% of them did so as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, only one in ten people in the UK stated to still be planning a holiday abroad this year, and instead relying on ‘staycations’. The battle is far from over and the fear of a second wave still remains. However, many governments are keen to avoid a second lockdown, as they cannot afford its economic cost. Technology applied in the public and private sector will be key for adapting spaces to make them safer and allow people to return to them. A digitally-enabled transformation of our public surroundings may be the only viable path to some kind of normality, and to an economic recovery.
  • Lack of digital identity policy progress, errors spark frustration in UK, Australia
    UK tech sector representative TechUK has sent an urgent request to DCMS secretary of state Oliver Dowden, drawing attention to the digital identity policy delays and urging an immediate solution, writes Computer Weekly. The tech industry in the country, represented by TechUK CEO Julian David, is concerned and frustrated with the lack of advancement in the digital identity market in the UK. In the letter, David emphasizes the positive contribution digital identity could bring to the economy post-COVID-19. The digital identity policy is not moving forward due to issues reported between DCMS and GDS, one responsible for digital economy policy and the other for Verify, a program that has had a troubled roadmap.
  • 70% of large businesses think remote working makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks
    According to new research from AT&T, businesses are understandably skittish in regards to remote workers being exposed to more cyberattacks. AT&T’s survey found that 70% of the large business felt remote working made them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. AT&T’s study of 800 cybersecurity professionals across the U.K., France and Germany found that more than half (55%) now believe remote working is making their companies more vulnerable to cyberattacks. With “work from anywhere” policies in place for millions of employees due to Covid-19, the security perimeter has moved out of office spaces, which has provided cybercriminals with new vectors of attack.
  • Are Brits really headed back to the office?
    New Zscaler research sheds light on whether employees will return to offices, or whether remote working is the new norm. Today marks the first working day where employers have discretion on whether they want to bring their employees back into physical office spaces. With the impetus and responsibility now with businesses themselves, new research* from Zscaler shows how businesses across the UK and Europe will adjust to the updated guidelines from government. The study shows that almost half (48%) of all European respondents expect the number of people that will work from away the office to grow by at least 25% and up to 50% in the next 12 months. Only 45% of UK respondents are confident that they have a secure remote access infrastructure in place that would support remote working. As such, just over a third (34%) are evaluating new security solutions based on the growing remote workforce requirements.
  • Internet of Trees: Vodafone uses NB-IoT to aid climate change research
    Vodafone is trialling Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology in two English forests, helping researchers understand the role of trees in tackling climate change. The Newbury-based operator is working with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and Forest Research on the project, which will also serve as a demonstrator for the potential for NB-IoT. NB-IoT is a licensed Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology designed for use by mobile operators who want to capture part of the IoT connectivity market. Although cellular networks have a clear advantage in terms of coverage, they consume more power than Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Sigfox.
  • Working from home fuels surge in BT sign-ups for UK’s ultra-fast broadband
    BT has reported a near-70% surge in customers switching to next-generation full-fibre broadband as the working-from-home revolution prompts people to upgrade to the fastest internet connection available. The company said the number of sign-ups for full fibre broadband, which enables users to download a hi-definition TV show in 15 seconds instead of the typical three minutes or more with standard broadband, increased in June to 10,000 per week. Prior to that, about 6,000 customers per week had been signing up for full-fibre broadband, BT said.
  • Openreach’s 3.2m full fibre target could see Ofcom change regulations
    The network operator has a new goal to provide fibre coverage to 3.2 million of the hardest to reach premises of the UK by the mid-2020s BT’s networking arm, Openreach, has announced plans to bring full fibre to 3.2 million homes and businesses in ‘Area 3’ of the UK by 2025/26 – those geographic areas considered to be harder to reach. This goal falls under BT’s overall ambition of spending £12 billion to connect 20 million premises by the middle of the current decade, provided it can receive support from the government and Ofcom. Back in January 2020, Ofcom was mulling the idea of introducing a Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) approach to wholesale local access pricing for Area 3, which would allow BT to recover any fibre investment costs via their customers. At the time, the regulator said it would need BT to “provide a firm commitment to build fibre in these parts of the country” if it were to allow such an approach.
  • The biggest govtech deals of the week
    This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. In partnership with GlobalData, we’ve drilled down into the most valuable tenders and awards from the last seven days. Here’s what we found this week… The top prior information notices This week’s featured PIN Buyer: Highways England Title: National technical survey and testing services Lowdown: Highways England has unveiled plans to splash £10m on the technology underpinning a nationwide survey of the country’s road network. According to the prior information notice, the survey will harness a range of technology including bluetooth, cameras and “automatic tube counters” to monitor traffic across the network. It’s expected that the contract will have been awarded by the end of the month. The best of the rest Buyer: Joint Forces Command (JFC) Title: Provision, installation, maintenance and support of new Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) Systems Interface (CSI) remote cabins Estimated publication date: August / September 2020 Value: £350k-870k Buyer: Joint Forces Command Title: Replace the existing Bowman Key Variable Management System (BKVMS) Deadline for registering interest: 14 September 2020 Value: £N/A
  • Cisco urges patching flaws in data-center, SD-WAN gear
    Cisco has issued a number of critical security advisories for its data center manager and SD-WAN offerings that customers should deal with now. Cisco has issued a number of critical security advisories for its data center manager and SD-WAN offering customers should deal with now. On the data centre side, the most critical – with a threat score of 9.8 out of 10 – involves a vulnerability in the REST API of Cisco Data Centre Network Manager (DCNM) could let an unauthenticated, remote attacker bypass authentication and execute arbitrary actions with administrative privileges on an affected device. Cisco DCNM lets customers see and control network connectivity through a single web-based management console for the company’s Nexus, Multilayer Director Switch, and Unified Computing System products.
  • BT revenue and earnings dive 7% in fiscal Q1 as COVID-19 bites
    BT’s fiscal Q1 results signaled that operations were clearly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the quarter to end-June 2020. Despite this, the UK-based operator appeared sufficiently confident to provide its first guidance for the financial year to 31 March 2021. Revenue in fiscal Q1 fell 7% to £5.24 billion ($US6.88 billion), a slump that was blamed on reduced revenue from BT Sport, the closure of retail stores and a reduction in business activity at its enterprise units.
  • Government Names UK 5G Create Pilots for £30m Investment
    At the start of this year the UK Government unveiled a £30m package to support an open competition (here), which aimed to look at how ultrafast 5G mobile (mobile broadband) could create “new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism.” The winning projects have now been revealed. All of this forms part of the wider £200m 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, which began in 2018 with a smaller selection of pilots but has since branched out. Under the latest 5G Create scheme several projects in Sunderland, Preston, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton and Suffolk will now benefit from funding to test their ideas and technologies.
  • Can tech help the NFIB tackle the UK’s fraud crisis?
    Fraud offences are a major, and growing, concern for authorities in the UK and around the world. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, there were over 3.8m reported incidents of fraud in the UK in the year ending June 2019. The gruesome reality of fraud in the country means that roughly one out of every fifteen people might have suffered a fraud attempt in the same year, generating stress and personal losses. In 2020, COVID-19 has yet added more complication within tackling scams, with fraudsters using the pandemic to target people online and frauds growing at a record rate, whilst many victims are not reporting the crimes to the authorities, leaving the criminals unpunished. On the macroeconomic side, it is estimated that frauds have costed the UK £130bn in lost revenues in 2019 according to a study developed by Crowe and the University of Portsmouth, which was more than the entire GDP of Hungary in the same year. The huge money losses and high number of cases continue to trigger efforts from the UK public sector to decrease the action of fraudsters with more data analysis, better reporting channels and quicker prosecution of criminals.
  • Addressing government legacy IT to be ‘a key focus of spending review’
    A major objective of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review will be to address issues caused by the continuing prevalence of legacy technology – which accounts for half of central government’s IT spending. The review, which will set out detailed budgets for each department for the next three to four years, is due to take place around November. It is the first full CSR to take place in five years, with the process having been delayed by the urgency of, first, government’s Brexit preparations and, latterly, by the coronavirus pandemic. In a speech delivered this week at an event hosted by think tank Onward, chief secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said that “a key focus of the spending review will be addressing legacy IT”.
  • UK DCMS announces six winners of the £30m 5G Create competition
    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced a funding boost of £30m under the 5G Create competition for six research and development projects aimed at helping the UK take a leading position in 5G technology.
  • Tales of the Work From Home World
    Whether COVID-19 causes your organization to return to work-from-home or not, here are some remote work tips for managers and employees.
  • Government announces £20m in new grants for small businesses
    The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke has announced £20m in new grants today (July 30) to support the recovery of small businesses. The boost will see thousands of smaller businesses in England given access to grants of between £1,000 and £5,000, to fund new technology, equipment and professional advice.
  • 62% of Brits Might Not Buy a House Without Strong Broadband
    A new survey of from low cost ISP TalkTalk has claimed that nearly two thirds (62%) of British people admit they would consider NOT buying a house if it didn’t have a “strong, reliable internet connection,” although they neglect to define what “strong” means (we suspect it’s likely to vary from person to person)
  • Tech sector calls on government to ‘urgently’ resolve delays in digital identity policy
    Representatives of the UK tech sector have written privately to digital secretary Oliver Dowden to express the industry’s ongoing frustration with the slow progress and continued delays in the government’s digital identity policy, Computer Weekly has learned
  • Inside Defra’s plans for using IoT to combat climate change
    When Malcolm McKee joined the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2017, he wanted to recreate a practice he’d used in the private sector. His previous employer, EDF Energy, had a horizon scanning team that monitored a range of emerging technologies, and McKee, Defra’s chief technology officer, thought it could prove valuable in Whitehall too.
  • The supplier data quality dilemma – what it means for procurement
    While it is widely accepted that digital transformation relies on the effective application of digital technologies, a recent report into the challenges and opportunities associated with supplier data in large organisations reveals that adoption of technology within Procurement has largely been hindered by lack of quality supplier data
  • Openreach announces largest yet FTTP build for final third of UK
    More detail on the Openreach 3.2 million rural premises build is now available as Openreach has published its press release. The key point to take up on board is that the 3.2 million are not just in the standard 20% of the UK considered rural but are part of the wider final third which is much more vague definition.
  • Lindy Cameron appointed as new CEO of UK NCSC
    The UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the country’s principal technical authority on cyber security, has announced the appointment of Lindy Cameron as its new chief executive officer (CEO). The organisation, which is part of the Government Communications Headquarters, was founded in 2016 with a goal to help the UK to be the safest place for living and also for working online
  • IBM joins Google, Microsoft and Oracle in signing preferential cloud pricing deal with UK government
    IBM has become the latest public cloud giant to sign a three-year preferential pricing deal with the UK government’s procurement arm, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).
  • 5G infrastructure spend to double in 2020
    With one eye keeping an eye on the troubles of Huawei, the likes of Ericsson and Nokia will be buoyed by Gartner predictions that 5G infrastructure should accelerate through 2020. After years of waiting for the 5G era to arrive, it seems telecoms operators are ready to accelerate deployments. There might have been a brief […]
  • Vodafone: OpenRAN 5G network could be deployed by 2025
    In the wake of the UK’s decision to ban Huawei from the 5G network, Vodafone says it will likely rely on a mixture of Ericsson and Nokia technology instead, combined with more experimental OpenRAN infrastructure.
  • 4 Things COVID-19 Has Taught About the Internet and Networking Infrastructure
    Insights about network performance under the stress of COVID will guide how infrastructure is built and managed well after the emergency has subsided This past October 29, the world marked a golden anniversary — the day a UCLA researcher sent a message to a Stanford Research Institute colleague over ARPANET, the experimental computer network that […]
  • Talk Talk Launch Openreach FTTP 500Mbps Broadband Service
    Budget conscious UK ISP TalkTalk has finally soft launched their first “Future Fibre” broadband packages based off Openreach’s (BT) ever expanding Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which at the time of writing appears to offer ultrafast speeds from 150Mbps to 500Mbps. No 1Gbps, yet.
  • Google’s Grace Hopper Subsea Fibre to Link UK, USA and Spain
    Internet technology giant Google has announced plans to construct a new private subsea fibre optic cable – called ‘Grace Hopper‘ – between the USA (New York), United Kingdom (Bude in Cornwall) and Spain (Bilbao), which could improve the performance of their online services and ensure plenty of data capacity for the future.
  • ‘We are a British company with only British datacentres – and a commitment to pay our taxes’
    In 2019 the government seemed to reach something of a seven-year itch in its relationship with cloud computing. The first G-Cloud framework and the accompanying CloudStore – now expanded and rebranded as the Digital Marketplace – launched in 2012. This was the same year that GOV.UK began operations, and the first full year of the Government Digital Service. After some early success for G-Cloud, the government implemented the ‘Cloud First’ policy in 2013. The directive, which is mandatory for central government and strongly recommended for the wider public sector, asks that buyers “fully evaluate potential [public] cloud solutions first before considering any other option”. But, by early last summer, the government seemed ready to re-evaluate its relationship with cloud computing. The Crown Commercial Service announced that it planned to replace the cloud-first mantra and was working with GDS to create “more appropriate guidance” for the years ahead. The procurement agency said that, having “worked though the digital transformation journey with many central government departments and wider public sector organisations, it has become apparent that one size does not fit all”. “Organisations should make sure they understand what the journey to ‘cloud’ is and means for them in terms of costs, risks, skills and timescales,” it added. “We are seeing more and more customers land on a hybrid solution and therefore ‘cloud first’ may not be right for everyone.”
  • CCS claims £1bn savings for public sector in FY20
    The Crown Commercial Service has claimed that its purchasing vehicles allowed public sector users to save more than £1bn in the 2019/20 year. The procurement agency’s annual accounts show that £18.1bn was spent via its commercial agreements in the 12 months to 31 March 2020. This represents an extra £2.4bn on the prior-year figure, equating to a rise of 15.3%. Spending via CCS deals increased at near-identical rates in both central government – where it rose from £9.1bn to £10.5bn – and the wider public sector, which spent £7.6bn, a rise of £1bn. Money spent directly with SME businesses increased by £275m to reach an annual total of £1.23bn. This equates to 14.2% of all money spent via CCS frameworks, which the organisation claims represents a rise of 1.7 percentage points on the previous year. CCS claimed that, as a result of using its aggregated buying arrangements, rather than paying market rates, public sector customers saved £1.06bn over the course of the year.
  • COVID-19 and Beyond: Determining the Right Cloud for Your Business
    As businesses contemplate cloud migration strategies for today’s ‘new normal’ of remote workforces, several considerations need to come into play. These last few months, cloud technology has played a critical role in helping companies power remote business. Being able to quickly spin up services such as employee VPNs has proven effective to manage some of these overnight changes, and while Internet Service Providers have struggled at times with spikes in user outages, cloud providers, in general, have held up well during these first transitional months of the pandemic, recording few outages comparatively speaking.
  • Local Government Association: Social care needs a reset
    The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for a social care reset today (July 27) after reflection on the Prime Minister’s pledge to “fix social care” one year ago. The representative body has urged Government to publish its timetable for social care reform prior to Parliament’s return from summer recess in September. A key set of principles, to be published at an LGA webinar today, have been put forward accounting for the lessons learned from the pandemic. These include: – Putting people first – The importance of social care’s local dimension – Adequate and sustainable funding – Supporting the care workforce – How care is provided and commissioned – Health and integration – The scope of care and support reform
  • Ofcom Adds 39GHz as Option for Supplying WiFi on UK Trains
    Ofcom has today updated their advice to the UK Government on spectrum bands suitable for providing “trackside to train connectivity,” which adds the 39GHz band as a possible option. In the future this could be used to support on-board ultrafast broadband capable WiFi access points or mobile (4G, 5G) small cells for commuters. Back in December 2017 the UK Government pledged to make “uninterrupted” WiFi and Mobile (5G) broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) available on-board all UK mainline train routes by 2025, although since then we’ve rarely seen this mentioned anywhere and earlier this year the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) similarly questioned whether it will be achieved on time
  • UK’s Cabinet Office wins back government data brief after two-year hiatus
    Responsibility for the UK government’s use of data has been moved back to the Cabinet Office from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday. In a written statement to Parliament on the last day before summer recess, Johnson wrote that the change, which is effective immediately, will “help ensure that government data is used most effectively to drive policy making and service delivery”. He added that the DCMS will retain responsibility for data policy “for the economy and society”.
  • UK Public Sector Procurement Tracker: COVID-19 – June 2020 Update
    Across all sectors of the UK public sector, the number of technology procurement opportunities has sharply decreased as a result of the global pandemic COVID-19. Public sector technology opportunities have dramatically reduced in frequency and total value since the emergence of global pandemic COVID-19. The circulation of the virus was at its peak in the UK around April, there was some signs of recovery in March for both opportunities and total value. However, April experienced the largest drop off year-on-year (difference of 542) regarding the total number of opportunities. Since the outbreak and lockdown, measures in the UK have gradually eased, and in the month of May closed the significantly closed the gap (difference of 64) on the number of opportunities, this is partly due to the number being relatively low in the previous year.
  • UK announces funding boost for better mobile connectivity on rail network
    The UK Department for Transport has announced a funding of £200,000 for supporting research for boosting mobile connectivity during train journeys by developing an innovative antenna prototype for rail gantries. The goals of the research project are enabling better wifi and eliminating internet blackouts for rail passengers. Research funded by the department showed that it is feasible to attach communications antennas to overhead line equipment (OLE), which can boost mobile connectivity for passengers. Besides, implementation of the idea can cut down the necessity for building additional track-side masts, thereby reducing costs.
  • Comparing VPN, VDI, and Teleworker Gateways for Remote Workforces
    With the disruption caused by COVID, now may be the right time for network administrators to reevaluate their remote access connectivity architecture. Despite easing of shelter-in-place ordinances in the United States, it’s looking increasingly likely that employees that can work from home will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In fact, this may end up being a long-term business strategy for many more months. If this is indeed the case, now may be the right time for network administrators to reevaluate their remote access connectivity architecture. In this article, we’ll compare three popular remote access technologies. Those are traditional VPN, VDI, and teleworker gateways. We will point out the benefits of each and situations where one may be a better fit over the others.
  • Video Meetings and Learning Styles
    Have you noticed that every meeting needs to be on video now? Of course, that’s a rhetorical question. It’s one of the first and most constant things that is brought up in the pandemic-influenced tech community of today. Meetings that used to be telephone-only or even wordy emails are now video chats that take half an hour or more. People complain that they are spending time and money to spruce up their office to look presentable at 720p to people that likely aren’t paying attention anyway. It’s a common complaint. But have you ever thought about why? Listening and Looking to Learn There are three major styles of learning that get brought up in academic courses. Physical, or kinesthetic, learners learn best from touching things. They want to manipulate and feel things as they learn. They like to gesture when they talk. They also get bored quickly when things are taking too long or they have to sit still too much. Visual learners learn best from seeing things. They like to look around and tend to think in pictures. They would rather see something instead of hearing someone speak. Auditory learners like to hear things being spoken. They want to talk through everything and hear the words being spoken out loud. These are the kinds of people that tend to do things like repeat lists back to themselves over and over again to memorize them.
  • Huawei ban will barely impact UK public sector tech unless China pushes back
    Undoubtedly the biggest technology-related news to emerge from the public sector this week was the Government’s decision to ban the use of Huawei’s network equipment in the UK’s 5G network, with final removal of the Chinese supplier’s kit to be completed by the end of 2027. The move by Prime Minister Johnson may be intended to placate US president Donald Trump (who has already banned the use of Huawei technology in the USA’s 5G networks), may be necessary to maintain the Five Eyes security alliance or may simply be evidence of weak leadership on Johnson’s part (or any number of other possible reasons, come to that)
  • Vodafone’s European networks will be entirely green by 2021
    The operator said that its Green Gigabit Net will be powered by renewable energy in the 11 European markets in which it operates Vodafone is setting itself ambitious new environmental goals, with plans for its European networks to be powered by 100% renewable energy no later than July 2021.
  • Is COVID-19 vendor financing for enterprise gear a good deal?
    In the wake of coronavirus-related shutdowns that have wreaked havoc on the global economy, IT giants including Cisco, Dell, HPE and IBM have launched multi-billion-dollar financing programs for customers and channel partners. The programs offer financing with generous terms, such as zero interest and deferred payments until 2021, to help IT buyers weather the current cash crunch.
  • Did UK telcos collude to sink Phones 4u?
    The ex-mobile retailer claims that a number of telcos colluded to sink the business back in 2014 Back in 2014, Phones 4u, previously a successful mobile phone retail company, rapidly fell into insolvency. Its last major suppliers, EE and Vodafone, had cut ties with the business in quick succession, leaving the retailer without any mobile network operator partners.
  • Lords Told UK Farmers Have to Visit McDonald’s for Broadband
    Yesterday’s debate on the forthcoming Agriculture Bill 2019-21 saw the House of Lords being told, by non-affiliated life peer Lord Holmes of Richmond, that some of the farmers he knows have such poor access to internet connectivity that they “have to go to McDonald’s to get broadband coverage.
  • Slack has filed an antitrust complaint over Microsoft Teams in the EU
    Workplace instant messaging platform Slack has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the European Union, accusing the tech giant of unfairly bundling its rival Teams product with its cloud-based productivity suite. A spokeswoman for the Commission’s competition division confirmed receipt of a complaint, telling us via email: “We confirm that we received a complaint […]
  • Boris Johnson unveils £350m fund for green industrial recovery
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a £350m funding package today (July 22) to support the green economy and tackle climate change. The investment will support the UK’s ambitions to reach net zero by 2050 by funding the decarbonisation of the heavy industry, construction, space and transport and stimulating green innovation.
  • ISP BT Working to Fix Slow FTTP Broadband Speed Profile Bug
    UK ISP BT has informed that they’re “urgently working to resolve” a bug on their Smart Hub 2 (SH2) broadband router, which seems to affect the speed profiles for some of their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) subscribers and can result in customers seeing significantly slower than expected results.
  • Big UK Rule Changes to Boost Gigabit Broadband and 5G Rollout
    The UK Government has today confirmed a series of changes to both the Electronic Communications Code (ECC) and Mobile infrastructure planning, which when taken together are intended to help boost the on-going deployment of both “gigabit-capable” broadband and 5G mobile networks (as well as the Shared Rural Network).
  • Apple’s new security program gives special iPhone hardware, with restrictions attached
    Apple unveiled a new kind of iPhone on Wednesday, but it’s not one that just anybody can get ahold of. The new batch of modified iPhones are tweaked specifically for security researchers as part of the tech giant’s new Security Research Device program. At last year’s Black Hat cybersecurity conference, Apple first said it would […]
  • The Five levels of Distributed Working
    With the lock-down and social distancing causing people to work remotely, you would expect productivity to slow down. However, many organisations are experiencing an increase in efficiency, as staff no longer have the stress, time, cost or need to commute. In addition, they don’t have the distractions of office life with an opportunity to create a workday that suits them and their family and factoring in their productivity peaks. This could be the start of unlocking the potential of distributed work.
  • Counterfeit Cisco switches raise network security alarms
    In a disconcerting event for IT security professionals, counterfeit versions of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series switches were discovered on an unnamed business network, and the fake gear was found to be designed to circumvent typical authentication procedures, according to a report from F-Secure. F-Secure says its investigators found that while the counterfeit Cisco 2960-X units did not have any backdoor-like features, they did employ various measures to fool security controls. For example, one of the units exploited what F-Secure believes to be a previously undiscovered software vulnerability to undermine secure boot processes that provide protection against firmware tampering.
  • Zoom introduces all-in-one home communications appliance
    Zoom has become the de facto standard for online communications during the pandemic, but the company has found that it’s still a struggle for many employees to set up the equipment and the software to run a meeting effectively. The company’s answer is an all-in-one communications appliance with Zoom software ready to roll in a simple touch interface. The device, dubbed the Zoom for Home – DTEN ME, is being produced by partner DTEN. It consists of a standalone 27-inch screen, essentially a large tablet equipped with three wide-angle cameras designed for high-resolution video and 8 microphones. Zoom software is pre-loaded on the device and the interface is designed to provide easy access to popular Zoom features.
  • Are You Ready to Serve Thousands of Network Slices to Your Customers?
    5G will radically change the mobile network experience over the coming years. We’re not only talking about faster 4G with bigger data pipes. We’re talking about mobile services that permeate every aspect of life: driving, medicine, manufacturing, education, entertainment, town management, home management – the list goes on. Telco operators are, not surprisingly, very excited about 5G because each of those new services is a potential source of new revenue. However, they’re also a little cautious because 5G has the potential to completely upend business as usual. Everything from the way networks are archi-tected to the way that services are created, managed and monetized will change with 5G. That’s a scary thought for many legacy network vendors as well.
  • IT Supply – many product lines regaining stock
    With lockdowns easing globally, the global IT supply chain has begun to move again, and many product lines that were in constraint are showing glimmers of regaining stock. However, many core homeworking product lines, like webcams, are still out of stock and there is no indication as to when stock will reappear. As for price, watch for global economic influencers, like exchange rates, which will impact end-product pricing down the line as shipments move through geographies. To help navigate the ups and downs and maintain a clear view of what represents a fair price, here are some of the latest developments and major movements that are influencing key IT product categories.
  • Can You See Me Now? What You Need for Zero-Lag Video Calls
    Higher lag in video calls is not just an annoyance. It slows down meetings, worsens the user experience, decreases productivity, and increases costs. Since the world moved online, we’ve become increasingly dependent on Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, Google Meet, and more for everything from business meetings to happy hours to weddings. And with the increased usage, millions of us are wondering: when will we have perfect call quality? When will we arrive at the virtual utopia of zero lag, high-quality audio and video, live response to collaboration tools, and more? If we can stream footage from the surface of Mars, certainly, we can have a better experience on our own planet, right? Technologists have been looking for the holy grail of a zero-latency solution for a long time — or rather, since zero-latency solutions are physically impossible, a solution that is so fast that any lag is virtually imperceptible to humans. The user perceived latency is a sum of latency introduced by all the components in the data transmission, storage access, and delivery network. Therefore, it should not surprise anyone that improving latency experience is a broader exercise involving: boosting home/branch Wi-Fi routers, improved access network capacity, geo-located high-speed content edge, high-speed transit networks, and high-capacity scale-out data centers. Of course, various components are independently evolving – we examine the fundamental reasons that contribute to the higher latency, and how fixing those can result in a highly improved user experience
  • Legal clouds gather over US cloud services, after CJEU ruling
    In the wake of yesterday’s landmark ruling by Europe’s top court — striking down a flagship transatlantic data transfer framework called Privacy Shield, and cranking up the legal uncertainty around processing EU citizens’ data in the U.S. in the process — Europe’s lead data protection regulator has fired its own warning shot at the region’s data protection authorities (DPAs), essentially telling them to get on and do the job of intervening to stop people’s data flowing to third countries where it’s at risk. Countries like the U.S.
  • EU antitrust lawmakers kick off IoT deep dive to follow the data flows
    The potential for the Internet of Things to lead to distortion in market competition is troubling European Union lawmakers who have today kicked off a sectoral inquiry. They’re aiming to gather data from hundreds of companies operating in the smart home and connected device space — via some 400 questionnaires, sent to companies big and small across Europe, Asia and the US — using the intel gleaned to feed a public consultation slated for early next year when the Commission will also publish a preliminary report. In a statement on the launch of the sectoral inquiry today, the European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the risks to competition and open markets linked to the data collection capabilities of connected devices and voice assistants are clear. The aim of the exercise is therefore to get ahead of any data-fuelled competition risks in the space before they lead to irreversible market distortion.
  • Virtual Visits: The New Future of Tech Support
    As economies across the globe begin reopening, conversations have turned to when the world will begin to go “back to normal.” After four months of lockdown—with restrictions in place that dictate who you can see, where you can go and what you can do—the world is eager to return to “normal” life. Unfortunately, going back to normal may not be as easy as it sounds, or as beneficial as people think. Until the world went into lockdown, many industries were fairly predictable. There were no forces pushing businesses to think outside of the box or to alter the status quo dramatically. Internet service providers (ISPs) were no different. They had internet speeds defined for home and office use, customer service providers available to answer questions in the event of an emergency, and technicians to go into people’s homes to solve any other issues. Things worked fine, albeit a little inefficiently. But when the world went into lockdown, ISPs were forced to reimagine how they provided customer service, which has led to some fantastic results.
  • Fortinet Unveils Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud
    Fortinet on Wednesday announced Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud, a networking and security solution that solves common application performance, visibility, cost, and control challenges associated with multi-cloud deployments by enabling SD-WAN across multiple clouds and regions Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-Cloud is a new approach to establishing secure and high-performance connectivity between public cloud workloads running on multiple clouds without increasing cost and complexity. Available in all major cloud providers, Fortinet Secure SD-WAN for Multi-cloud enables a consistent network architecture leveraging SD-WAN capabilities between clouds and empowers application developers and enterprise IT to build a high speed and seamless cloud-to-cloud network and security architecture..


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