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  • First Ransomware-Related Death Reported in Germany After Attack Paralyzes Hospital
    It sounds like something out of a tragic Black Mirror episode: A woman seeking urgent care died this week after an apparently bungled ransomware attack took down a major hospital in Germany, thus forcing paramedics to rush her to another city for treatment, according to several outlets. It appears to be the first case of […]
  • Palo Alto beefs-up its SD-WAN menu with machine learning, analytics
    With an eye toward adding intelligence and growing deployment options, Palo Alto Networks has rolled out analytics, machine learning, and new hardware appliances for its recently acquired SD-WAN package. The company bought cloud-based SD-WAN vendor CloudGenix earlier this year for $420 million and promised to integrate and augment CloudGenix’s intelligent cloud-managed SD-WAN products and technology […]
  • UK Parliamentary committee casts doubt on value of OneWeb satellite project
    UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee hears experts from the world of satellite communications cast doubt on the intrinsic value of the UK government’s ambition to be a sovereign satellite communications provider. Even though eminent experts in the field believe there is a gold rush going on in space, with the leading actors […]
  • Analysys Mason: Nokia maintains lead in telecoms software and services
    Nokia has maintained its lead in Analysys Mason’s annual independent report which ranks telecoms software and services providers. The Finnish giant beat rivals like Ericsson and Huawei to the number one spot based on strong growth and a portfolio which Analysys Mason says leads in almost all categories. Post expires at 8:57pm on Saturday March […]
  • Vodafone UK Supports eSIMs in Smartphones on its Pay Monthly Plans
    Vodafone UK now supports eSIMs in smartphones on its Pay Monthly plans, a convenient new technology supported by few other mobile network operators in the UK. eSIMs aren’t just the next generation of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card technology, they do away with the need for a physical card entirely. SIM cards contain unique identifying […]
  • Spending watchdog to probe ‘transparency’ of government procurement during pandemic
    The head of the UK’s public-spending watching has said the organisation will publish an in-depth report examining government’s procurement practices during the coronavirus crisis. The examination will pay particular attention to criticisms of a perceived lack of openness in the awarding of contracts, according to the head of the National Audit Office, Gareth Davies. “We’re […]
  • Scottish Government Invests £4m to Boost Interest in 5G Mobile
    The Scottish Government (SG) has today announced a new funding package of £4 million, which will be used to establish a new “national network of hubs” – S5GConnect Hubs – to help accelerate the adoption of ultrafast 5G based mobile (mobile broadband) technology across Scotland. However, this doesn’t reflect some new approach to computer networking, […]
  • UK criticises continued Chinese global cyber attacks
    The UK has joined its international allies in condemning continued Chinese global cyber attacks on government and business organisations. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has criticised malicious cyber activity carried out by China on telecoms, technology and governments. The condemnation comes in the wake of the announcements made by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over […]
  • About Your Remote Access Policy: It’s Time for an Update
    With more employees than ever working from home, it’s important to examine your organization’s remote network access policy to ensure that it’s still meeting its goal of protecting the enterprise network from misuse and attacks. The biggest mistake organizations make when creating or updating their remote access policy is not taking enough time to understand […]
  • Accenture throws a $3 billion hat into the cloud adoption ring
    Systems integrator Accenture has revealed plans to invest $3 billion over the next three years to establish Accenture Cloud First. As the name suggests its aim is to help clients in any industry accelerate their transformation into cloud-first businesses. Accenture already has a substantial cloud services division that turned over $11 billion in fiscal 2019. […]
  • Network-as-a-Service: Creating values for all parties
    With COVID-19 forcing the majority of staff in many companies to work remotely for months on end, there is huge pressure on IT and network professionals to assure all corporate business and collaboration applications run as they should to meet employee and customer needs and expectations. Embracing digital innovation and leveraging cloud capabilities has become even more critical to address today’s new business demands. Enterprises are looking to shore up the game by equipping themselves with intelligent, secure and more reliable network connections that meets their requirements. SD-WAN (“software-defined wide area network”) is the leading solution nowadays for this. While enterprises could choose to build their own SD-WAN by combining equipment, software and access technology by themselves, a growing number of organizations are turning to a more flexible and efficient solution: to buy the service from communications service providers (CSPs) as a “network as a service” (NaaS) solution.
  • Openreach adds 67 locations to its Fibre Cities programme
    Openreach has expanded its Fibre Cities programme to an additional 67 locations. The plan outlines areas where the company will build its new, Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology. Work will begin in March 2021 and is scheduled to take place over two years. The new locations stretch across the country – from Alloway, in Ayrshire; to Helsby, in Cheshire; and Ivybridge, in South Devon – and bring the programme to over 560 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets. The £12 billion project aims to bring ‘full fibre’ technology to 20 million premises across the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place. Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said, “Despite the challenges of the pandemic we’re continuing to make great strides towards our goal to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband to 20 million homes and businesses.
  • An e-scooter trial in the UK was halted five days in after locals complained about riders weaving through traffic
    An electric scooter trial in the UK has been put on hold just five days after it launched, following reports that riders were mounting sidewalks and weaving in and out of traffic. Voi, the Swedish company operating 200 vehicles during the trial in Coventry, said it would reduce the speed of the e-scooters and educate locals before the 12-month trial resumes. Voi rolled out the vehicles to both Coventry and Birmingham on Thursday. More than 5,000 rides were taken in Coventry alone in the initial days of the trial, it said.
  • Why Now Is the Time to Accelerate Digital
    The current world context is pushing organisations to make better-informed, faster decisions to survive in a rapidly changing environment. As organisations begin to shift from the recovery phase of COVID-19 to the renewal, many are focused on what comes next and capitalising on the changes made to the business during COVID-19. The Gartner Board of Directors survey highlighted that seven out of 10 boards have accelerated digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 disruption. One question we hear frequently when discussing digital business strategy now is, “Why is this digitalisation different from digital prior to COVID-19?” And the answer is pace — the pace of adoption. With a potentially short window of time before a resurgence of the virus or other related disruption, organisations need to act quickly.
  • The biggest govtech deals of the week (14/9/20)
    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: Home Office Title: Joint Asset Recovery Database (JARD) IT systems The lowdown: The Home Office has earmarked £25m to replace a database that keeps a record of assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The existing product, which is managed by the National Crime Agency, is described in the prior information notice as an “ageing system that has been modified and updated on a number of occasions over its 15-year plus lifecycle”. The replacement system will incorporate a range of services, from case management and data warehousing to debt recovery management and financial monitoring. Prospective suppliers have until 25 September to register their interest in the contract. The best of the rest………
  • EU court’s net neutrality ruling uproots zero-rating plans
    The court’s ruling suggested that by blocking or limiting non-zero-rated apps and services, zero ratings plans could threaten the existence of a neutral and open internet for all Today, the ruling of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) case between Telenor and Hungarian regulator NMHH could threaten the existence of zero-rating plans on the ground […]
  • New national data strategy ‘threatens’ UK data adequacy resolution
    The government’s new national data strategy could jeopardise Britain’s chances of securing an adequacy decision after Brexit, policy and legal experts have told NS Tech. The strategy, which sets out to create a “world-leading data economy”, states that the UK will “seek EU ‘data adequacy’ to maintain the free flow of personal data from the […]
  • SD-LAN Helps Mitigate Smart Building Physical Cybersecurity Risks
    According to a recent Fortune Business Insight industry analysis report, the global smart building market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.6% through 2026. Much of this growth revolves around the implementation and management of IP-based physical security technologies such as surveillance cameras, door access controls, alarms, and contact tracing […]
  • CenturyLink seeks enlightenment with new brand
    US telco CenturyLink has seen the light and reinvented itself as Lumen Technologies. In a bid to position itself as a leading light in the market for the provision of enterprise solutions and services in new areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, collaboration and automation, CenturyLink has shed its legacy brand in […]
  • UK’s Leading Retailer Asda Selects Vodafone as New Network for its MVNO
    Retailer Asda has chosen Vodafone as the new network for its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), Asda Mobile. In the five-year exclusive deal, Asda Mobile customers will benefit from Vodafone’s 4G and 5G coverage, unlimited mobile data plans, Wi-Fi calling and other great benefits, such as family discounts. Post expires at 12:34am on Tuesday March […]
  • BT to launch environmental monitoring ‘living lab’ with Scots university
    BT is working with the University of Stirling to launch a 5G-enabled “living laboratory” for central Scotland. Hailed as the first initiative of its kind for the UK, the environmental monitoring system aims to help organisations in the region make data-driven business decisions. BT called it “a truly exciting milestone”. The laboratory will have access to BT’s 5G network, which was recently switched on in the Stirling area. The project, led by the University, will capture, process and share data from across Forth Valley over EE 5G. Initially, using sensors, satellite data and artificial intelligence (AI), the laboratory will provide information on water quality. BT says the work could help support the shift to a net-zero economy and a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Breaking Down SASE
    Deeply integrating security with networking functions provides higher-order protections for applications and data regardless of the paths that workflows or transactions take. SASE, or Secure Access Service Edge, is one of the hottest topics in both networking and security at the moment. And for good reason. Businesses, and the workers and networks that support them, have been thoroughly disrupted. Organizations, and especially their IT departments, have been wrestling with digital innovation for the past several years. With largely the same budget and staff they had at the start of this disruption, these teams have had to plan, design, implement and manage the rapid expansion of the traditional network to include multi-cloud environments, SaaS applications, the massive adoption of IoT, and next-gen branch offices that need rapid and reliable access to all of these applications and services.
  • BT Wholesale UK Broadband Checker Adds a Few New Details
    The BT Wholesale Broadband Checker service, which is more intended for UK network operators and ISPs but has always been useful to help consumers check the capability of Openreach based lines, has recently added a few new options at the bottom for ‘Exchange Product Restrictions‘.
  • Scotland launches contact tracing app to contain coronavirus
    Scotland has announced the launch of a new contact tracing app Protect Scotland, as part of its efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. The new NHS Scotland’s app has been made available for free download on Apple and Google stores. The app is compatible with iPhones 6S and above and Android 6.0 and above. The app is designed to focus solely on proximity tracing.
  • UK Ministry of Defence selects Tisski to digitalise key business processes
    The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a £7.6m contract to Tisski, a Microsoft Gold partner and provider of cloud solutions, to optimise and automate key business processes across the organisation. Under the two-year contract, Tisski will simplify, streamline and digitise manual procedures across all operational areas of the UK government department. Furthermore, the tech firm will offer a service spanning the software life cycle, including business process analysis, concept development, production, training, live support and consultancy.
  • CenturyLink rebrands as Lumen Technologies
    t’s a bold, new era for CenturyLink as it rebrands under three separate entities: Lumen Technologies, CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Lumen Technologies’ platform brings together a global fiber network, edge cloud capabilities, and security and communication and collaboration solutions while Quantum Fiber is a subscription-based, fully digital platform for delivering fiber-based products and services to residents and small businesses. The CenturyLink brand will continue to be used for residential and small business customers over traditional networks.
  • UK govt to propose new Smart Data laws for more control of data
    The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said that the government is proposing new Smart Data laws that will enable consumers and small businesses to benefit from better deals and savings via innovative services. According to the department, Smart Data lets businesses to offer more intuitive, and easy-to-use services to consumers. These include better account and bill management, changing services for savings, and targeted backing for vulnerable consumers, all these made possible by letting businesses to share data of customers with authorised third-party providers in an easy and secure manner. As an example, BEIS said that Smart Data has enabled services which can alert the trusted contact of a vulnerable consumer if there is a suspicious activity on a bank account.
  • AdEPT gains Platinum Partner status with UCaaS partner Gamma
    AdEPT Technology plc has been awarded Platinum Partner status by UCaaS partner Gamma. The companies say this achievement is a credit to AdEPT’s long-standing relationship with Gamma and reflects criteria such as customer service, revenue achieved and technical excellence, and the expertise in the products and solutions AdEPT provision and support with Gamma. To gain Platinum Partner status, AdEPT needed to meet several high-level objectives and requirements. The achievement of this recognition provides AdEPT access to a host of additional benefits including training, support and premium marketing packages. Phil Race, CEO of AdEPT (pictured above), commented, “I’m delighted that AdEPT has achieved this status with one of our key strategic partners, Gamma. We have a long, successful and collaborative relationship with Gamma who are an important provider across our marketplace. Our long-term strategy embraces a focus on key partners, in our mission to bring the best offerings available in the marketplace to our customers. The achievement of Platinum Partner status with Gamma is a recognition of this focus, and a positive step for Gamma, AdEPT and most importantly our customers.”
  • Google just changed the higher education game. Colleges and universities should be paying attention.
    Google just changed the higher education game. Colleges and universities should be paying attention. Google recently announced its Google Career Certificates program, and it’s making waves in the pond of higher education. Among its other ambitious undertakings,Google is starting to act like a university, offering short, profession-specific credentials that can be completed in as little as six months. Want to become a Data Analyst or a UX Designer? How about a Project Manager? Google Career Certificates provides a pathway to these well-paying jobs — no college degree necessary. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think students will turn down Princeton to get a six-month Google Certificate. But it is a game changer because it forces colleges to think beyond the four-year undergraduate degree to create products that deliver education when, how and where people want it.
  • How to Get Mentally Tougher in Difficult Times: Play More
    Play has always been important for adults. It’s even more important in 2020. Finding time to play, even as an adult, was never an extra. Science shows being more playful throughout your life makes you not only happier but, surprisingly, also better at your work. “Research has found evidence that play at work is linked with less fatigue, boredom, stress, and burnout in individual workers. Play is also positively associated with job satisfaction, sense of competence, and creativity,” the Association for Psychological Science blog has reported. Which means play is always important for adults. It’s even more important in the middle of the nightmare of colliding crises that is 2020.
  • It’s the biggest job in tech. So why can’t they find anyone to do it?
    Like many businesses, the government wants to achieve a digital transformation. It might try to start with appointing a leader. An exciting new vacancy has opened up that will likely tempt some IT leaders into freshening up their CV: the UK is recruiting a Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO), who will be working at the highest levels of the Cabinet Office to lead the digital transformation of public services in the country. All of this and more, for £200,000 a year. The job is the biggest one in government tech so you’d expect the recruiters at the Cabinet Office to be deluged with applications from hyper-qualified aspiring GCDOs, who got tech goosebumps from just reading the role description.
  • Alternative resolution procedures for procurement disputes: the Public Procurement Review Service
    The PPRS has reiterated to authorities the clear messages on paying suppliers contained in government guidance (see our earlier Insight articles on PPNs 01/20, 02/20 and 04/20 here). In addition, the PPRS has reminded authorities that interest accrues on debt at the statutory rate after the 30 day payment period required by the Public Contract […]
  • Promoting gender equality and social inclusion through public procurement
    Oxford Insights have been working with the UK Government Digital Service (GDS) Global Digital Marketplace Programme and the Prosperity Fund Global Anti-Corruption programme, led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), on public procurement reform. The GDS Global Digital Marketplace Programme is helping to reform public procurement. Globally, government spending is colossal, approximately one-fifth […]
  • UK Trails as 10 Countries Pass 95 Percent Full Fibre Broadband Cover
    A new report from global consultancy firm Arthur D. Little has revealed that 10 countries have now made “full fibre” (FTTP / FTTB) broadband ISP networks available to at least 95% of homes, although unsurprisingly the United Kingdom continues to be stuck at the back of the pack but we are showing rapid improvement. Post […]
  • Telehealth usage soars during COVID-19
    Internet-based virtual healthcare, sometimes called telehealth or telemedicine, has seen a massive increase in usage during the pandemic, according to new research. A study by University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA) found that a quarter of older adults aged between 50 and 80 had a virtual medical visit over a network in […]
  • Liverpool tech company working with Government, creates ‘pattern-of-life’ mathematical modelling that better predicts Covid-19 spread
    Liverpool-based CGA Simulation’s won a Government competition (Innovate UK), set up to support the design of technologies that can help communities get back to normal after Covid 19. CGA is mathematically modelling how Covid19 spreads in local communities using something called ‘Agent Based Modelling’ (ABM), which focuses on how the virus is transmitted from person to person, in a small town (based on Southport) as people go about their daily business. You can see the simulation here
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Is The Time For The Public Sector To Help Build Greater Social Connection
    Mounting evidence shows a link between the physical distancing required by current COVID-19 prevention guidelines and widespread and worsening social isolation and loneliness. Greater social connection, especially when physical distancing, is a vital tool for bolstering individual health and community resilience to combat not only these sequelae but also the disease itself. Of note, Julianne Holt-Lunstad and colleagues have stated that there are sufficient data on the prevalence and severity of social disconnection to elevate it to a public health priority. This prioritization, however, has yet to materialize largely because of the lack of evidence supporting the effectiveness of interventions. Holt-Lunstad’s recent post on this blog expands on a widely held view among experts that systematic efforts to achieve greater social connection need to be guided by a well-developed evidence base on which actions do and do not work. This view holds that, to date, few interventions to achieve this objective have met the criteria required to advance this evidence base. The implication is that much more progress is needed to reach even a critical threshold. Unfortunately, as a result few policy makers have focused on advancing social connection in the COVID-19 context. We believe that a balance is needed between high-bar scientific prerequisites and the plight of the afflicted in the here and now. To meet the challenges of this COVID-19 moment, the maxim “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” applies.
  • Digital Secretary launches National Data Strategy at London Tech Week’s Global Leaders Innovation Summit
    Oliver Dowden delivers his speech – Hello, and welcome to London Tech Week. I’m delighted to be opening the Global Leaders Innovation Summit here from the Ocado warehouse in Erith. I’ve chosen to give this speech here because it’s home to a very special operation – and it’s a great example of the way digital technology has transformed our lives in recent years, and especially in the last few months. As I’m speaking, 4,000 robots are whizzing back and forth over a huge grid system behind me, communicating to one another through a bespoke network. In a single day, collectively these bots travel four times around the world. Their job is to dash to a crate of groceries, and carry it to a pick station, where either another robot or a human picks out the items to put a shopper’s trolley together – using an algorithm to work out which order to pack the bags in, so that nothing gets squashed. Those bags are packed into a van and shipped to your door – and indeed mine! This is a very modern business at work. And what drives this entire operation? Data.
  • Government conference AV framework proposed
    The Covid-19 lockdown has highlighted the need for more remote working, reduced travel and created a greater dependency on inter-departmental collaboration. Workstreams focusing on this topic were already under way at the start of the year, but the urgency of this work as well as stakeholders’ focus on it has increased dramatically as a result of lockdown. A critical element of collaboration is audio-visual conferencing ability. Quality and accessibility for both internal and external users are key for conference rooms, particularly in shared-tenancy buildings. The audio-visual (AV) workstream investigated video collaboration software and hardware used by central government departments. One of its findings was that the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) doesn’t currently have a framework that allows the procurement of specialists in AV design and AV integration, either for central government, or the wider public sector. To address this gap, CCS is in the initial stages of developing a procurement route for the delivery of specialist AV design and integration. This new framework will provide departments with the ability to procure AV design consultancy, installation and integration services for AV hardware, and the support of AV systems.
  • How Is Work From Home Going To Stay, Even After COVID-19?
    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, only 7% of workers in the U.S. had the flexibility to work from home – according to a report by the Pew Research Center based on data from the National Compensation Survey. However, millions more are adapting to working from their kitchen tables, spare bedrooms and home offices due to office-closures and shelter-in-place orders. Coronavirus transformed the work landscape almost overnight – but will things stay this way? Let’s take a look into some of the reasons why it took a major worldwide pandemic to shift many workplaces towards remote work – and why this new style of working might be around for the long term.
  • The road to closing down the PSN
    In September 2019, Government Digital Service (GDS) published an update about the Future Networks for Government (FN4G) Programme (PSN Closedown), which is supporting the public sector to migrate away from the Public Services Network (PSN). Organisations should migrate to modern network solutions which offer more competitive commercial terms, greater flexibility and scalability. These solutions should be appropriately secure and follow: the Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) relevant government security guidance cloud guidance legal, regulatory and policy obligations like GDPR
  • NHSx unveils first winners of £50m AI in Health and Care Award
    The developers of more than forty artificial intelligence-powered healthcare products are set to take a cut of a £50m NHS innovation fund. Revealed by the health secretary Matt Hancock at London Tech Week today (8 September), the fund seeks to accelerate the rollout of cutting-edge healthcare projects that harness AI and machine learning to improve […]
  • The cost of replacing Huawei and ZTE in US networks will be nearly $2 billion
    The US communications regulator has released the results of a ‘supply chain data request’, which lists all US CSPs that have any Chinese gear. In addition, the FCC has revealed the aggregate cost of ripping and replacing that kit with stuff originating from a country it’s not currently at cold war with. “All filers report […]
  • China’s largest chipmaker could face US blacklist
    The future of China’s largest chip manufacturer is hanging in the balance amid suggestions that the US government could prevent Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) from doing business with American companies. Post expires at 10:07pm on Monday March 8th, 2021
  • The Ultimate Guide to Open RAN: Deep Dive Into RU, DU, CU
    The choice of how to split New Radio (NR) functions in the architecture depends on some factors related to radio network deployment scenarios, constraints and intended supported use cases. Three key ones are: 1. A need to support specific QoS per offered services (e.g. low latency, high throughput for urban areas) and real/non-real time applications. […]
  • KCOM Signs UK Full Fibre Engineering Deal with Light Source
    UK ISP KCOM, which is currently investing £100m to extend the availability of their 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network across “tens of thousands” of additional premises in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, has once again contracted Light Source to help deliver this expansion. Post expires at 10:02pm on Monday March 8th, 2021
  • Vodafone UK loses landmark mast court case
    Vodafone UK has lost a court case could open the door to a wave of legal challenges by landowners and property owners who host 5G phone masts.
  • Nottinghamshire secures UK govt funding for 5G enabled digital centre
    Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) has prevailed in a bidding process to secure funding from the UK government for setting up a 5G enabled digital centre in North Nottinghamshire. The funding is for the council’s Digital Turbine Centre in Worksop which will come from the £900m Getting Building Fund of the UK government. The fund has been designed to support the delivery of shovel-ready infrastructure projects, in agreement with mayors and local enterprise partnerships to ramp up economic growth, and help in local recovery and in creating jobs.
  • SpaceX Expecting 100Mbps Broadband from Starlink Satellites UPDATE
    SpaceX has revealed the results from their most recent “official” testing of the new future mega constellation of small Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Starlink satellites, which they claim has now “shown super low latency” and download speeds “greater than 100Mbps” (Megabits per second). The figures have not been independently confirmed, but would mark a welcome improvement over some of the initial tests that leaked out last month. On the other hand the new results are still a long way from the “gigabit” or “fibre-like” levels of performance that have been stated in the past, although there’s still plenty of scope for improvement as the constellation grows, improves ground station utilisation and begins to harness more spectrum bands etc. After this week’s launch SpaceX now has over 700 LEOs in orbit around our planet and that’s just shy of the 800 they’re targeting in order to deliver partial global coverage for an early commercial launch, albeit not reaching the UK for awhile (the first customers will be in the USA and Canada). We also recently got our first glimpse of the beta setup for the new service and its terminals.
  • Why the new £2Bn Kickstart Youth Employment Scheme does not work for SME’s
    There are some excellent statistics on UK businesses. I sometimes wonder whether Government policymakers read them. The new KICKSTART Scheme aims to give 250,000 16-24 year-olds on universal credit, 6-months’ work. Government pays National Minimum Wage for 25 hours/week for 6 months. The employer gets £1500 to set up the scheme. What’s the problem? A company must create at least 30 new jobs. SME’s employ 60% of the workforce and none are big enough to create 30+ new jobs.
  • UK broadband speed test results for August 2020
    it is time to share our analysis of the speed test results for August 2020. In terms of product popularity the most popular services we saw in terms of speed tests in descending order in August was BT Superfast 1 FTTC 40/10, Sky Fibre FTTC 40/10, Virgin Media M200 Cable, Virgin Media M100 Cable, BT Superfast 2 FTTC 80/20, TalkTalk Fibre FTTC 40/10, Sky Fibre Max FTTC 80/20, Sky ADSL2+. The continued popularity of ADSL2+ and the slower FTTC products is why the median download speed in August across the UK worked out at 29.6 Mbps, bottom 20% figure was 12.1 Mbps and top 20% 52.8 Mbps, with a mean of 45.8 Mbps. August 2019 the mean was 37.1 Mbps and way back in August 2016 the mean was down at 24.4 Mbps
  • Is the COVID-19 pandemic a catalyst for the fourth industrial revolution?
    In March, COVID-19 was officially declared an international pandemic by the World Health Organization. Most governments enforced social distancing and urged families to stay home from work and school. More than ever, they began counting on their Internet to work, study and have leisure time, increasing the demand for video conferences, remote working, e-learning, e-commerce, SVOD services and gaming. This is taking place concurrently with the fourth industrial revolution. According to the World Economic Forum, this fourth industrial revolution will merge the physical, digital and biological worlds. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. One of the fundamental differences of this fourth industrial revolution is that in the previous ones the changes occurred outside of the human body; now they will involve it and even happen within it, possibly redefining us as homosapiens. In other words, our world is radically and quickly changing and the pandemic can accelerate everything.
  • How to Ensure Remote Workers Have Tools to Remain Productive
    As COVID-19 continues to redefine “normal” for the global workforce, some regions are slowly returning to the office. With this migration back to the office, the strain on virtual private networks (VPNs) may be eased somewhat. However, a highly distributed workforce adds pressure to IT Teams in different ways. Ensuring that on-premises applications are working well, and can be easily accessed, will enable your remote workforce to remain productive, allowing them to focus on providing value to the business and your customers rather than wrestling with application latency.
  • UK government announces clearance of 700 MHz band for mobile use
    Six years after first posing the idea, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has managed to prise 80 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum from the clammy grip of terrestrial broadcasters. The announcement was made by Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman, in keeping with government policy of claiming all the credit for these things at the 11th hour. He did so at the 5G World event, which has gamely proceeded with a three-day virtual 5G-fest because we’re not allowed to get together in person anymore.
  • UK broadband speed test results for August 2020
    it is time to share our analysis of the speed test results for August 2020. In terms of product popularity the most popular services we saw in terms of speed tests in descending order in August was BT Superfast 1 FTTC 40/10, Sky Fibre FTTC 40/10, Virgin Media M200 Cable, Virgin Media M100 Cable, BT Superfast 2 FTTC 80/20, TalkTalk Fibre FTTC 40/10, Sky Fibre Max FTTC 80/20, Sky ADSL2+. The continued popularity of ADSL2+ and the slower FTTC products is why the median download speed in August across the UK worked out at 29.6 Mbps, bottom 20% figure was 12.1 Mbps and top 20% 52.8 Mbps, with a mean of 45.8 Mbps. August 2019 the mean was 37.1 Mbps and way back in August 2016 the mean was down at 24.4 Mbps.
  • UK government backs quantum computing leap
    The UK has taken a step towards realising its ambition to become the world’s first quantum-ready economy after receiving £10 million government and industry backing for the first commercially available quantum computer to be hosted in Abingdon. The aim is to assist businesses who want to explore how they could harness the power of quantum computing in the future. UK Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said “Our ambition is to be the world’s first quantum-ready economy, which could provide UK businesses and industries with billions of pounds worth of opportunities. Therefore, I am delighted that companies across the country will have access to our first commercial quantum computer, to be based in Abingdon.”
  • The biggest govtech deals of the week (3/9/20)
    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…
  • UK’s Digital Identity Strategy Board develops principles for use of digital identity
    The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) said that the next steps for the UK’s use of digital identity have been outlined by the newly created Digital Identity Strategy Board. The board has developed six new principles aimed at boosting the secure use of digital identity. These include privacy, transparency, inclusivity, interoperability, proportionality, and good governance.
  • Airwaves freed up for 5G and rural coverage in infrastructure ‘major milestone’
    What is being heralded as a “major milestone” in digital infrastructure has been achieved as radio waves previously used by TV have been freed up for 5G and mobile coverage in rural regions
  • Big Tech Companies Want to Help Get You Back in the Office
    Many things about Matt Bruinooge’s senior year at Brown are different from his previous college life. One is that he logs on to a website from tech giant Alphabet twice a week to schedule nasal swabs. Brown is one of the first customers of a pandemic safety service from Alphabet subsidiary Verily Life Sciences called Healthy at Work, or Healthy at School at colleges. It offers a website and software for surveying workers or students for symptoms, scheduling coronavirus tests, and managing the results.

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