The Cabinet Office and DCMS have initiated a consultation on how government should take account of social value in the award of central government contracts.
The Civil Society Strategy committed the government to use its buying power to drive social change. Central government will, in future, take better account of social benefits in the award of its contracts. This will have the effect of levelling the playing field for all types of businesses including small businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises, encouraging employment opportunities, developing skills and improving environmental sustainability.
The overarching objective for the government’s commercial activities will remain achieving the best commercial outcome but it is right that government applies its commissioning to supporting key social outcomes. The public sector must maximise social value effectively and comprehensively through its procurement. It cannot afford not to; a missed opportunity to deliver social value is a cost that has to be absorbed elsewhere in public services.
The approach will apply tests that all bidders, irrespective of their size and type, should be capable of meeting. Our proposed approach will further level the playing field for the UK’s small businesses, voluntary and community sector organisations and social enterprises – they are closest to our communities and will often be well placed to deliver social value through the contract.
Initiatives across the country seem to be gaining steam as cities look to encourage equitable access — but pitfalls around cost and taxpayer risk remain.
As the need for equitable internet access becomes increasingly important to leaders, some cities are taking matters into their own hands and setting up municipally owned and operated networks.
When internet is treated as a public utility like gas, water or electricity, some city leaders say it can help residents find jobs, do homework at home more easily and connect easier to new technology like telehealth.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working on a project to help local authorities develop cyber resilience around smart city plans.
It is aiming to provide guidance on how they can prioritise security in the procurement of internet of things (IoT) technology.
The ministry has published an open early engagement notice to assess interest from suppliers that could potentially support the initiative. It says it wants to identify the key cyber resilience and security challenges for local government in deploying IoT infrastructure and systems, and to provide guidance on what the sector needs.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has joined the chorus of a criticism of GOV.UK Verify programme with a report that says the continuation of the programme has not been justified.
It says that the identity assurance platform, which has been developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in the Cabinet Office, has performed below the standards initially set and that take-up among the public and government departments has been much lower than expected.
This has created a situation in which potential users do not know what price they will have to pay to verify identities in the future, departments cannot assess their likely costs, and it is not possible to assess future demand for the service.
Poorly regulated 5G tech opens up risk of ‘catastrophic cyber threats’, IoT director warns
Using poorly regulated 5G technology may lead to “potentially catastrophic cyber threats and security breaches”, the director of an IoT company has said.
It comes after GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming called for better cyber-security practices in the telecoms industry amid concerns tech giants like Huawei could pose a security threat.
In the UK several companies are looking into the viability of 5G technology in the healthcare sector, including Internet of Things (IoT) company Pangea Connected are working with Kingston University in London to develop a new 5G-enabled video streaming service that allows A&E doctors to triage patients before they arrive at hospital.
Thanks to 5G, in the not too distant future, high-speed connectivity will be available for all… except where it isn’t.
With 5G rearing its head and the Internet of Things going from strength-to-strength, everything in the world is becoming connected. Thanks to 5G, in the not too distant future, high-speed connectivity will be available for all… except where it isn’t.
A 5G IoT utopia
5G promises mobile communications with speeds equalling, and in many cases, surpassing those achieved by home broadband. As well as the obvious benefits for mobile users, high-speed connectivity and increased availability will also benefit the IoT, allowing more devices to send and receive more data.
While this sounds like a data utopia, 5G may not have all the answers where the IoT is concerned. For example, what about connectivity between cities and across borders? In this article, we look at what’s needed for truly ubiquitous global IoT coverage and filling the gaps between coverage hotspots.
The Rural Services Network (RSN) are today leading calls for the UK government to produce an “urgent comprehensive strategy for rural areas” in preparation for Brexit, which among other things demands more investment to boost the “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband roll-out and stronger mobile coverage targets.
According to Ofcom’s most recent report (here), some 94% of the United Kingdom can access a fixed line “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) ISP network, which rises to 97% in urban areas and falls to 74% in rural locations. Similarly geographic 4G mobile coverage in rural areas from all operators is 97% in urban locations, but only 62% for rural areas.
The series cost £12.70 for every single listener
Tory Trade Secretary Liam Fox blew more than £100,000 on a podcast ‘vanity project’ listened to by just 8,398 people.
The online radio series has been branded a “complete waste of money” which should have been spent on public services.
‘Local to Global’, part of the Government’s ‘Exporting is Great’ campaign, was recorded a bid to encourage British firms to export their wares.
It’s a series of interviews by former Apprentice co-host Nick Hewer, speaking to British entrepreneurs to discover the “personal stories and memorable moments” that inspired them to start exporting.
But the government has revealed there have been just 8,398 downloads or listens in total, across the 6 episodes of the podcast, plus a 1 minute preview episode.
[Should have come to Innopsis – we can provide podcasts for third parties!]
Manchester Local Care Organisation is taking a technology-enabled approach to delivering person-centred health and social care.
Creation of the Manchester Local Care Organisation (MLCO) post devolution has brought the council’s adult social care operation together with local NHS primary, community and mental health services to work as one team across the organisations’ boundaries delivering health and care to the people of Manchester.
MLCO has a vision to use technology based on three priorities: supporting vulnerable people in living in their own homes; providing an end-to-end approach to care delivery, joining up the contributions of social workers, care providers, NHS staff and others in supporting an individual; and bringing the data from all systems into one place to provide a clear view of the services provided and the factors affecting a supported person.
Published in February 2017, the Government Transformation Strategy oulined a bold vision for comprehensive and enduring reform, and set a range of ambitious targets. As we enter the final stretch of its three-year itinerary, we examine the progress made to date, and how far is left to travel
The technology sector is renowned for its proliferation of nebulous buzzwords. There is often a very close inverse correlation between the frequency with which terms are used, and the precision with which they are defined. To wit, “innovation”, “solution”, and “disruption”.
‘Transformation’ is another word wielded widely and woollily. But, thankfully, erstwhile Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer has provided a handy definition.
He says: “To change – and to do so at pace and at scale. This is the meaning of transformation.”
Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden has said it’s “OK to fail” in trying new technologies for government services.
Talking about the technology innovation strategy on which GDS is currently working, he said one of the priorities is to highlight the best of what government is doing with emerging technologies and how it can be applied elsewhere.
A unit within the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is working on a new portal for the submission and tracking of research applications.
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), which provides anonymised data for public health research, is looking to develop an alpha version of the portal over the next six months and a beta version in the following six.
This is part of its programme to digitise existing processes, including eRAP submissions from researchers and epidemiolgists (scientists who study diseases within populations of people).
In what was billed as an ‘Industry Briefing’, the Government Digital Service (GDS) this week outlined what its Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) is all about.
The event was attended by representatives of around 40 suppliers, though we suspect many will have left the room none the wiser of its value in their quest to deliver assistance to the much-needed transformation of public services.
Mark Barrington, GDS Deputy Director for Technology Policy and policy advisor James O’Neill gave a short presentation which focused rather more on what GDS is known for than why the TCoP is relevant to suppliers. This seemed somewhat ingenuous to the audience, most of whom will have had some dealings with the Cabinet Office unit in the last 7 or 8 years.
Microsoft has published the date on which it will ‘end support’ for its troubled Windows10 Mobile devices as 10th December 2019.
The computer technology giant, which all but admitted defeat in the ultracompetitive mobile phone market back in 2016, quietly updated its FAQ in mid January and said December is when the devices will cease to receive new security updates as well as other staple features.
In an ‘End of Support’ document, Microsoft has instead recommended customers still using the devices to switch to iOS or Android. The page further notes that help ends on 11th June, and “security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates…” will end on 10th December 2019. Some applications will have access help for a further three months post the switch off date.
There are three key trends that will impact smart cities in 2019. Let’s take a look.
From Alphabet Lab’s high-tech transformation of Toronto’s waterfront, to Bristol’s award-winning citywide communications network, the number and scope of smart city projects across the world is on the rise, with analysts forecasting the market will be worth more than $2.5 trillion by 2025.
The fundamental objective of any smart community is to enrich the lives of residents and make local governments more efficient in responding to their citizens’ needs. From security to convenience to revenue generation, smart city applications will change the way cities operate and the way we live and work. But it all starts with connectivity – a smart city’s residents, machines, vehicles, systems and applications must be connected, and in most cases that involves fibre infrastructure. There are three key trends that will impact smart cities in 2019. Let’s take a look.
‘Give towns 5G networks before rolling them out in cities’, demands Labour MP in response to Brexit
Towns should benefit from 5G technology before cities in a bid to tackle the “divide” that triggered Brexit , a former Labour leadership hopeful will demand.
Yvette Cooper issues the plea for boosted networks in a pamphlet, Healing the Divide, produced by the Labour Tribune MPs Group.
Calling for government to develop a “proper industrial strategy for towns”, she says: “It needs to shape the impact of technology and globalisation so towns can benefit, and to empower towns to seize new opportunities and benefits rather than repeatedly losing out.
Network operators and vertical industries are under attack from both traditional and non-traditional competitors.
To get – and stay – ahead, they must continuously reinvent their differentiating strengths and capabilities – in other words their DNA. This is particularly critical as 5G comes into view. As they look to deploy and leverage 5G and transform their technology, we see six main challenges that network operators will need to overcome.
- Spectrum availability and network deployment feasibility
- Strategy use cases and business model
- Device innovation and technology breakthroughs
Network deployment approach
Architectural and platform innovation
- Operational complexity
Money will be made available through grants to local authorities
Rural businesses and communities are set to benefit from improved broadband access as part of a £45m boost by the government.
The new funding for the government’s Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme adds to the £30m investment announced last year, increasing the total pot of funding available to £75m following a positive response and a high number of applications from local authorities.
The money will be made available through grants to local authorities that have already applied for funding, in areas where broadband services at speeds of 30Mbps or faster are not available or planned. The funding will be used to support full fibre wherever possible.
With so much of a focus on Brexit, it is easy to forget that many local areas will be going to the polls in just a matter of months. To be precise, elections will take place in May for 261 local authority areas in England, six directly elected mayors and all 11 local councils in Northern Ireland.
Naturally, each locality has its specific issues. The solutions to these issues will of course lie at the heart of the election campaigns as they unfold. More and more though, these solutions include increasingly relevant technology for local populations – technology which continues to evolve at an incredible pace.
Central London has had a poor reputation for the levels of superfast broadband coverage for a while now but things are changing with several providers rolling out full fibre and one of those is Community Fibre.
Think Broadband’s broadband map has updated to reflect the latest availability of Community Fibre along with the detail in their postcode search.
Estimates predict that there will be 1 billion 5G users worldwide by 2023.
The potential impact of 5G technology has been well discussed in recent years, writes Caroline Puygrenier, the director of strategy and business development for connectivity at Interxion. The technology has the potential to dramatically improve data speeds, increase network bandwidth and reduce latency, transforming every industry from manufacturing and marketing to communications and entertainment.
However, despite the first deployments of 5G and the launch of the first 5G-compatible devices expected this year, we don’t anticipate the impact of widespread 5G implementation to be fully felt in 2019. Instead, this year will be more of starting point for change as businesses continue to invest in rearchitecting existing networks and infrastructure ready to host 5G networks.
Anwen Robinson, UK Operating Officer at TechnologyOne discusses the opportunity for local authorities to determine a place within the emerging smart city world – and how they can prepare themselves for the transition.
As everyday devices become internet-enabled and mobile connectivity advances, many UK cities are racing to utilise this data and technology. From smart water grids, that manage the quantity and safety of water consumption to monitoring traffic patterns in order to combat congestion; smart cities and the technologies driving them have the ability to improve the lives of residents, increase operational efficiencies and progress the quality of government services.
The latest KPMG report into the readiness of countries for the adoption of driverless cars (autonomous vehicles) has seen the United Kingdom fall two places to be ranked 7th overall, which is just behind Sweden and Finland. Apparently we’re being hampered by poor infrastructure, particularly 4G mobile coverage and road quality.
The 2019 Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index ranks 25 countries by four key categories of progress, including policy & legislation, technology & innovation, infrastructure and consumer acceptance. The United Kingdom actually does quite well for most of the criteria except infrastructure.
Health secretary reveals email will be opened up to allow use of ‘any secure email provider’
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock wants the NHS to eradicate the use of pen and paper communications with patients.
Speaking at the NHS England conference taking place this week, Hancock told attendees that he wanted healthcare staff to be able email patients directly about appointments. To help promote the use of email, the health secretary announced that NHS organisations will soon be permitted to use any email system considered to be secure – not just the NHSmail communications service.
This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. Every week, in partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the most valuable tenders and awards from the last seven days. Here’s what we found this week…
Top five tenders
The Post Office is searching for a series of suppliers to support the delivery of a £357m automation programme. “This procurement is for the provision of transaction processing, managed services and hardware for the automation of a proportion of 11,500 Post Office branches,” the notice states. “Solutions will depend upon the demands of each branch and a number of demographics such as geographic location and cash in/outflow.”
The contract has been divided into five lots, including ATM switching, fraud and security solutions, cash management, self-service hardware and teller cash automation supply. Vendors have until 11 March to submit their bids.
- Post Office – Banking Automation – £357m
- Bank of England – RTGS renewal – £1,5m
- Hertfordshire County Council – Hertfordshire Superfast Broadband – £11m
- NHS 24 – Ccbt Software – £2m
- Coventry City Council – ERP for UKBIC – £1m
Exponential‐e, the British Cloud, Network, and Unified Communications provider, have this week announced the latest phase of its Software Defined Digital Platform (SD-DP)
SD-DP is an integrated platform designed to underpin any organisation’s digital transformation. The SD-DP is comprised of core and edge computing, bonded with SD-WAN, SD-Data Centre to form a robust, underlying advanced network that enables data to flow freely yet securely between multiple clouds. Combined with multi-various tools and services, these components form an intelligent, agile, safe, and cost-effective digital transformation stack for all modern organisations.
Lee Wade, CEO & founder of Exponential-e, commented:
“With this evolution of our SD-DP, Exponential-e customers have the assurance and confidence that their digital transformation (DX) partner has the full range of professional services and capabilities to help them on their DX journey. Concerns around cloud complexity, business continuity and security can be consigned to the past, along with fretting about fixing their legacy systems. We take care of that. Our most recent technological development for the SD-DP is our Cloud Management Platform (CMP). This allows our customers to manage their data and cost bases of multiple cloud platforms through a single pane of glass.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has developed a self-administration portal for public sector IT teams to register with the GovWifi service.
It has taken the step to make it simpler for the teams to register their organisations than under the manual process involving emails and phone calls.
The team behind GovWifi is currently testing a prototype and taking user feedback. According to a blogpost by service manager Steve Wood, organisations can already check whether they meet the technical requirements to join the service and create an admin account.
This gives them the ability to add their IP addresses to the server, add team members as administrators and view and agree the terms and conditions.
The blog says that more than 100 local and central government organisations have now signed up to GovWifi, which was set up to give users in registered organisations automatic access to the Wi-Fi service within public sector buildings.
IT reseller Bytes Software Services has been named 2018’s biggest supplier of government technology in a new ranking from contracts data provider Tussell.
Bytes topped the list after winning a £159m deal to supply the NHS with licenses to upgrade its entire computing stock to Windows 10, as NS Tech first reported last year. But it is likely the reseller will only retain a small cut of the deal, with the rest going directly to Microsoft.
Neuda, a digital solutions provider, came in a close second, winning £155m of awards driven largely by a £150m contract to overhaul IT at the Northern Irish government’s environment department. DXC Technology came in at third position with (£150m), Fujitsu fourth (£119m) and IBM fifth (£110m).
The proportion of the value of awards won by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) rose from nine to 16 per cent, indicating the government still has some distance to go if it is to meet its 33 per cent target by 2022.
New ‘Small Business Crown Representative’ will make sure government gets best value and small businesses have improved access to government contracts.
– New ‘Small Business Crown Representative’ will make sure the government gets the best value and small businesses have improved access to government contracts
– Martin Traynor OBE is an experienced business leader and deputy chairman of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
– Martin also helped to set up visitor centre following discovery of King Richard III’s remains
An experienced business leader has been given the task of boosting the relationship between the government and small businesses.
Martin Traynor OBE is the deputy chairman of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, runs his own training and consultancy business and is the former Group Chief Executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce.
He has now been made the government’s new Small Business Crown Representative – a role which will see him make sure the government gets the best value from small business and small businesses have the best possible opportunity to work with the government.
This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. Every week, in partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the most valuable tenders and awards from the last seven days. Here’s what we found this week…
Top five tenders
Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has issued the biggest tender of the week: a framework valued at up to £20m for digital evidence extraction tools. The notice is light on detail but reveals plans to allow police forces from across the country to buy tools and training to extract digital evidence from computers and smartphones. Because it will be set up as a dynamic purchasing system, suppliers can join the framework at any time up until the point at which it closes in 2025
The concept of Zero Trust is being lauded by the Government Digital Service (GDS) as the way forward for all of the public sector’s networking requirements.
Zero Trust originates from a theory that if you know who a person is, what device they are using and where they are, you can set a policy to allow or disallow them access to services and data. If one, or more, of these elements are missing, the user can’t be trusted.
Virgin is using Arris DOCSIS and EPON technology across its existing fibre broadband network to bring speeds of around 8.5Gbps to 50 trial customers in Cambridgeshire.
Virgin Media has announced that it is trialling “multi-gigabit” fibre broadband technology which it wants to push to speeds of 10Gbps.
Arris is providing its Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) technology for the trial, which is taking place across 50 residences in Cambridgeshire and is seeing users experience speeds of 8.5Gbps over its existing fibre network.
In recent years, it’s fair to say that the UK Government has been working harder to do more business with SMEs to level the playing field in the procurement conundrum
But equally, the complexity of the procurement process has proved to be a huge stumbling block for many. As a result, in late 2018, MPs on the Science and Technology Committee heard from a range of experts on how attempts to open up procurement to SMEs has progressed over the last three years.
The gist of the discussions was that early success in shifting contracts to a more balanced portfolio of suppliers had seen some modest success, but that the trend seemed to be reversing in the last year. One of the underlying causes of this was cited as the procurement processes that are used to make awards, and this is a theme that has received much attention in the last six months in other forums.
The NHS long term plan says networks are going to offer solutions to many of the NHS’ problems but the NHS is a hierarchy and bureaucracy and these three are not organic bedfellows, notes Andy Cowper
It’s interesting when you can’t find any actual source for a quote that you’ve heard used a lot of times in relation to management issues. For me, the latest example of this is “the network beats the hierarchy”.
5G’s authentication protocol security vulnerability won’t be fixed before first network roll-outs
Security flaws in the Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA) protocol will render first roll-outs of 5G networks vulnerable to eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
The Government understands the importance of prompt, fair and effective payment in all businesses’s being paid promptly for work done ensures businesses have a healthy cash flow.
A new Procurement Policy Note sets out how payment approaches can be taken into account in the procurement of major Government contracts.
Operators have weighed in to advise the best way to build a 5G network in Wales
The National Assembly for Wales has encouraged the Welsh Government to work with mobile network operators or risk Wales being left behind in the rollout of 5G.
The National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee recommended the action after reviewing the Welsh Government’s Mobile Action Plan earlier this month.
New measures to increase the visibility of subcontracting opportunities in Government supply chains and to provide greater visibility of supply chain spend.
For all new Pulic Sector procurements valued above £5 million from May 2018 will require the successful supplier to advertise on Contracts Finder, subcontract opportunities.
Will this bring new opportunities for SMEs or just increase the administration cost of selling to the Public Sector?
Openreach is hiring 3,000 new trainee engineers to help it accelerate its plans to deploy ‘full fibre’ broadband connections across the country.
The company, which was spun off from BT in 2017, is currently undergoing a programme of installing “fibre to the premises” across the UK.
It has committed to reach three million homes and businesses with full fibre by the end of 2020 and intends to achieve 10 million premises and beyond by the mid-2020s, “should the conditions be right”.
The new trainees will be based across the UK, helping engineers upgrade, maintain and install services across the company’s broadband network.
Cloud is driving fundamental changes in how networks are built, which requires a more flexible network architecture that can accommodate and secure connections to multiple clouds.
The context between SD-WAN and security are in the midst of an evolution that will grow in importance and dominate the WAN Edge landscape for many years to come. That’s because cloud is driving fundamental changes in how networks are built, which requires a more flexible network architecture that can accommodate and secure connections to multiple clouds.
Extension comes five years after CityFibre first brought fibre infrastructure to the town
CityFibre has begun work on a £30 million full fibre network expansion in Huddersfield.
The expansion is set to connect homes and businesses to the full fibre network currently in place capable of up to 1,000Mbps.
The new project is in partnership with Vodafone and the first connected homes can expect to receive gigafast broadband from the operator this summer.
Dell’Oro’s latest Wireless Packet Core 5-Year Forecast report shows that the projected five-year compounded annual revenue growth rate (CAGR) for the Wireless Packet Core (WPC) market is 3% (2018-2023).
“Initial 5G New Radio (5G NR) network launches are being implemented with 5G Non-standalone (5G NSA) architectures that utilise the 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC); therefore we have pushed out by one year (from 2019 to 2020), our expectations of when we will see the first commercial deployments of 5G Core,” says Dell’Oro Group analyst Dave Bolan.
IBT selected the SevOne Data Platform to provide its service teams with a single, real-time view of the health of their customers’ networks
SevOne, a leading provider of network and infrastructure management solutions, announced that BT has selected the SevOne Data Platform for next generation performance management to accelerate the execution of their digital transformation strategy.
The SevOne Data Platform simplifies the extraction, enrichment and analysis of network and machine data from across multi-vendor environments, providing users with the capability to collect performance at scale and provide actionable events based on automatic, abnormal condition detection.
The Government Digital Service has awarded two contracts to small companies providing SMS services to work on the GOV.UK Notify platform.
Firetext Communications and MMG Mobile Marketing Group have won the year-long deals, valued at £800,000 each, to provide services supporting public authorities in using the messaging platform.
The contracts, awarded under the IT services category, became live earlier this month are due to run until 17 January next year.
This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals. Every Monday, in partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the most valuable tenders and awards from the last seven days. Here’s what we found this week…
Top five tenders
The Financial Conduct Authority has issued the biggest tender of the week: a framework valued at up to £150m for cloud-computing and technology resourcing. Prospective suppliers have been invited to apply to be listed on the framework, which will remain open for four years, by 18 February.
BT’s enterprise arm facing top-line pressures but cost cuts offer support, says Barclays
Barclays expects BT’s revenues to fall 1.5% and earnings to drop 5.6% in the third quarter
BT Group PLC’s newly formed enterprise division is facing top-line pressures that are unlikely to abate any time soon, Barclays said ahead of the telecom firm’s third-quarter results next week.
The company has merged its business and public sector divisions with the wholesale and ventures arm to create BT Enterprise to streamline its operations.
SCOTS are getting a raw deal over broadband speeds – with six of the 17 UK local authority areas that are currently failing to get the ‘bare minimum’ 10mb per second being in Scotland, according to a new study.
Which? said their study shows “the urgency of improving broadband services across many parts of Scotland” – and the need to increase awareness of faster speeds, where they are available.
Orkney had the slowest typical broadband speeds in the UK with just 3mbps.
The other five Scottish areas which included in the worst 15 areas of the UK for speeds were Shetland (6.7mbps), Argyll and Bute (7mbps), Moray (7.1mbps), Highland (7.7mbps) and the Scottish Borders (9.3mbps).
Businesses across the globe are working on their game plans for long-term Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. IT teams are now faced with managing a network that extends well beyond the traditional boundaries of fixed locations.
Using wireless as a primary wide area network (WAN) link, will be crucial in supporting this shift, and will help organisations accelerate and secure IoT deployment in the long run.
Fibre optic network developer and Innopsis member, Cityfibre has announced that their £30m project to deploy a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband ISP network in the large UK market town of Huddersfield (West Yorkshire), which will be sold to residents via Vodafone’s ISP packages, has now begun.
At present the town already has an existing 52km long Dark Fibre style network, which was originally launched in 2014 to serve local council (public sector) sites and now reaches over 200 customers across the public and private sector. However under the new deployment this will be extended so that “almost every home and business locally” can expect to be covered, although a solid “premises passed” figure has yet to be disclosed.
There won’t be any security or software updates after December 10th.
Microsoft is winding down support for Windows 10 Mobile. The company will stop releasing security and software updates on December 10th, and it will end technical support for the devices on that date.
You’ll be able to create device backups for settings and some apps until March 10th, 2020. Some services, including photo uploads and restoring from backups, may still work for up to a year after Microsoft formally ends support in December.
The following points highlight what to expect regarding cybersecurity in public sector technology in the coming year.
As part of his plan to improve the U.K.’s defences, including cybersecurity, last year Phillip Hammond pledged an additional £1bn to the cause during his most recent Budget announcement. Given previous cyberattacks, such as WannaCry on the NHS, this investment is well needed. But what will this money be spent on in 2019, and will we see tangible results emerge? The following points highlight what to expect regarding cybersecurity in public sector technology in the coming year.
- Skills are the solution
- Technology platforms are consolidated
- Press pause on projects
- Purchasing of security tools is centralised by the NHS
- A mobile working environment driven by Brexit
- Threat from nation states intensifies
IBM and Vodafone team up for digital transformation venture around AI, 5G and edge
IBM and Vodafone Business have entered into a strategic commercial agreement to offer their European and other global clients with the open and flexible technologies required to integrate multiple clouds and prepare for the next wave of digital transformation brought by AI, 5G, Edge and Software Defined Networking (SDN).
The interconnectivity of clouds and vulnerability of data are the two most burning global issues today as more than 70% of organisations are using up to 15 cloud environments as they are putting their best efforts to access powerful new digital solutions and services. The newly formed venture between IBM and Vodafone will help such companies by eliminating complexity and barriers from their technology choices, ensuring a free flow of data and applications in a secured manner.
The latest iGov Survey examines different procurement approaches across the public sector.
The study focused in particular on:
- The challenges faced by organisations due to external factors such as Brexit and GDPR
- The impact of the cyber security challenge
- Perceived barriers to successful procurement
- How organisations engage with suppliers
- eSourcing and how this is used across the public sector
- Training opportunities and requirements across procurement
- 40% of organisations view early supplier engagement as the highest priority in a procurement exercise
- The need to deliver social value is an area 85% of respondents view as having the biggest impact on procurement strategies
- With regards to cyber security, over half of organisations (63%) have a designated cyber security lead
- Three-fifths of participants said that early supplier engagement is important
- Limited skills and expertise are viewed as the second biggest barrier to successful procurement
According to the “State of Digital Transformation” research, in 2019, it is clear that digital transformation is maturing into an enterprise-wide movement. Digital transformation is modernising how companies work and compete and helping them effectively adapt and grow in an evolving digital economy.
Now in its fifth year, our annual State of Digital Transformation research continues to document the constantly evolving enterprise. As disruptive technologies and their impact on organisations and markets continue to progress, our research aims to capture the shifts and trends that are shaping modern digital transformation.
The National Farmers Union has published the results from its latest online and telephone based survey of 812 members, which found that just 16% of farmers had access to “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) speeds (up from 4% in 2015) and only 17% have a “reliable” outdoor mobile signal. But the situation has improved.
The news that farmers, which tend to work in some of the United Kingdom’s most sparse and remote rural areas, suffer from slow broadband and weak mobile signals shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Many of the locations where farmers operate are often last on the list for upgrades due to the economic challenges of building expensive networks to cater for so few users over a wide area.
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has urged professional users and court visitors to sign up for the GovWifi service as it aims to deliver faster wireless connectivity to all criminal courts by 2021.
It is rolling out GovWifi around criminal courts as a central element of the programme. The service has been developed by the Government Digital Service and includes an automatic Wi-Fi sign-in for government buildings with cloud based authentication, enabling users to access networks as they move between sites.
With 2019 well underway, the hype of 5G and the growth of IoT are filling my thoughts, with both – especially the fifth generation of mobile networks – in a relatively early stage. So, how will 5G and IoT develop in the New Year?
First Operational 5G Networks
This year is expected to see the first operational 5G networks become available in selected areas. However, the iteration of mobile network technology won’t fully replace existing 3G and 4G networks, leaving many of us questioning what 5G’s real benefits will be, and how much extra will it cost?
As previously, when new generations of networks have been introduced, 5G will need to coexist with existing networks to support all subscribers and the broad diversity of the installed base. This presents an opportunity for service providers to review and adjust their strategy, based on lessons learned during the earlier deployments of what worked best for their customers.
One in eight new homes are built without broadband speeds that meet Government standards, leaving thousands across Britain frustrated
- One in eight new homes have speeds so slow they fall below govt requirement
- Problem blamed on developers who do not want to pay for costly infrastructure
- MPs said it was unacceptable for families in new homes to have slow broadband
Thousands of new homes are being built without decent broadband connections.
One in eight new properties has speeds so slow they fall below the Government’s minimum requirement – and four in ten are built without fibre optic cables, according to advice website Thinkbroadband.
High demand for usage sees CCS more than double spending on new procurement platform
Value of eSourcing framework shoots up from £4m to £10m as buying agency expects platform to process an increased amount of spending
A high level of demand from the public sector has seen the Crown Commercial Service more than double planned spending on its underlying tech platform for public sector procurement.
Abacus-strummer IDC has clocked that quarterly revenues of IT infrastructure (that’s servers, storage, and Ethernet switches) for the cloud have officially squeezed past sales into traditional environments.
In a report this week, based on its quarterly cloud IT infrastructure tracker, the analyst said cloud sales had overtaken traditional environment in the third quarter of 2018.
During that period, vendor revenues from sales of IT infrastructure into cloud environments edged out sales into traditional environments, reaching 50.9 per cent of total worldwide IT infrastructure vendor revenues, up from 43.6 per cent the year before.
However, for the full 2018, the company said spending on cloud infra would remain below the 50 per cent mark at 47.4 per cent – although IDC director for IT infrastructure and platforms Natalya Yeshkova said the inexorable shift towards cloud spend would continue.
NHS England chief digital officer Juliet Bauer is leaving to work for one of the new digital GP companies working on NHS contracts, focusing on NHS partnerships.
According to an internal memo obtained by HSJ, Ms Bauer will leave “with immediate effect” and move to the digital company Livi in April, where she will be an executive with responsibility across Europe and NHS partnerships. Livi, also known as Kry in its native Sweden, holds several contracts in the NHS to provide video GP consultations.
Ms Bauer was NHS England’s first chief digital officer and had responsibility for digital projects focused on patients, including the NHS app, NHS 111 online, the NHS app library, and widening digital patient participation.
She will be replaced on interim basis by Tara Donnelly, the current chief executive of the Health Innovation Network, from 4 February.
Making the most of Frameworks –
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PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the topics and trends that will dominate the year ahead, and revisits the predictions of a year ago to see any of them came to pass.
Predictions are apt to make one look foolish at the best of times.
And you might have noticed that the UK in late 2018 seems quite a long way from the best of times.
Given the all-encompassing uncertainty in which the country is currently gripped, it might appear folly to make any predictions about anything anywhere until further notice.
But, then again, while our so-called leaders lurch from one looming national crisis to the next on an almost daily basis, perhaps it behoves the rest of us to take the advice of the wartime government – and a million tea towels – and keep calm and carry on.
Coders should continue to code, data analysts should continue to data analyse, and policymakers should continue to policymake.
Journalists, meanwhile, should clearly continue to churn out thinkpieces and listicles.
So, in that spirit of brave stoicism, we bring you the PublicTechnology rundown of the three trends – because, as every journo knows, three is the shortest list technically possible – to look out for in the public sector technology space in 2019.
An executive at CityFibre has responded to suggestions that gigabit broadband is not necessary for most users.
Every home in the UK is likely to be able to benefit from the introduction of ultrafast gigabit broadband in the coming years, one of the companies working to roll out the technology has stated.
In a piece for Computer Weekly, Head of Marketing – Portfolio and Engagement at CityFibre Caroline Hughes said that while most of the reactions to gigabit-capable broadband – which can provide speeds some 50 times faster the current UK average – are positive, there are still some who doubt whether such speeds are needed.
However, she stated that in the coming years, such solutions will become more necessary than ever, particularly as the size of downloads continues to increase.
Amazon Web Services has been chosen as the cloud provider of a portal for the UK government which will enable government departments and local councils to procure goods and services online.
The new government portal is being built by a small public sector-focused development team called The Dextrous Web, which – in consultation with the Cabinet Office’s procurement body, the Crown Commercial Service – decided that AWS would be best for the project.
Hosting the primary components of the Crown Marketplace will likely give the company an advantage when it comes to later stages of the project, which may prove lucrative over the long term.
Despite being embroiled in the midst of a trade war between China and the United States, Huawei is showing no signs of slowing down its innovation.
On Tuesday the company revealed a new chipset for data centres purported to be more powerful and more efficient than its peers, and now the Chinese tech giant has unveiled its new data centre switch ‘built for the AI era’, the CloudEngine 16800.
Huawei claims it to be an industry-first, consisting of an embedded AI chip, 48-port 400GE line card per slot, and the capability to evolve to the autonomous driving network. According to Huawei, this will enable customers to accelerate intelligent transformation.
2019 will see “a trickle followed by a rush” when it comes to 5G, according to predictions from data research firm, GlobalData.
The company expects a number of commercial 5G services to roll out in 2019. However, it predicts that adoption will be slower, with most 5G services not gaining traction until late this year or early next. The research firm puts this down to limited initial coverage and poor device availability, as well as a lack of clear consumer business cases for 5G. Another factor which will limit the speed of 5G adoption, according to GlobalData, is that Apple isn’t expected to join the 5G fray until 2020.
GlobalData’s 2019 briefing notes: “At the outset, carriers will have limited smartphone inventory to work with, and that could put a damper on marketing campaigns.”
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
NHS England has once again pledged to improve the state of digital services to benefit patients and staff in its Long Term Plan, with a fully digital secondary care and access to digital consultations promised by 2024.
The 136-page document (PDF), published at midday on 7 January, aims to provide clarity on the government’s plans for the NHS over a longer period of time, setting out how the 70th birthday funding boost – an extra £20.5bn on top of 2018-19 levels by 2023-24 – will be spent.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is investing in a digital ‘spine’ to connect the region’s key digital assets.
It has announced plans for a 260km full fibre network, covering all six local authority areas within its borders, to enable ultra-fast internet for every home, school, business, hospital and other locations.
Among the assets to be connected are the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree super computer at Daresbury and GTT fibre optic cable, which carries internet traffic between the UK, North America and the rest of the world and comes ashore in Southport.
It seems that every year is a crunch year for rural broadband. But 2019 really is shaping up to be do or die for the State’s National Broadband Plan, the pledge to connect 540,000 businesses and homes in rural areas to state-subsidised fibre internet.
On balance, a contract with the current bidder, Granahan McCourt, still looks likely to be given the green light. But if this doesn’t happen, the Government has a very serious infrastructural deficit to address, even if a small percentage of those without proper broadband will get it through market sources next year.
Inevitably, attention will shift to alternative options. One such option that is often mentioned is 5G, the next-generation mobile technology that is currently being trialled by Irish operators.
Rural homeowners and flat dwellers are still missing out on top speeds
Baz Parmer has spent three years trying to persuade BT to connect him to the superfast internet received by almost every other household in his village of Fulking, West Sussex.
Although he pays the company £39.99 a month for a 50Mbps service, he only gets 12Mbps at the best of times. He and his daughter, Madelaine, 15, get faster internet from their mobile phones — or by popping to the local library.
Recognising the threat to both critical infrastructure and human health and safety in the event of a cyber-attack, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices (HICP): Managing Threats and Protecting Patients, a publication nearly two years in the making.
“This publication is the result of the collaborative work HHS and its industry partners embarked on more than a year ago – namely, the development of practical, understandable, implementable, industry-led, and consensus-based voluntary cybersecurity guidelines to cost-effectively reduce cybersecurity risks for health care organisations of varying sizes, ranging from local clinics, regional hospital systems, to large health care systems,” wrote Eric Hargan, deputy secretary of HHS.
Suppliers have until the end of January 2019 to sign up to the new government network services purchasing framework.
The government’s £5bn Network Services 2 RM3808 purchasing framework went live over Christmas, with a deadline of the end of January 2019 for suppliers to sign up to offer telecoms and network services to the UK public sector. As usual, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is keen to encourage SME suppliers to get involved.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, visited the University of Birmingham today to launch an ambitious new multi-disciplinary Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership.
The Centre builds upon the Health Service Management Centre and the wider University’s strong reputation in leadership. It will become a major regional, national, and international interdisciplinary hub for training and educating leaders in health and social care, and conducting research into leadership and management within these sectors.
University launches ambitious new Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership
The Home Office appears to be creating some movement around the Emergency Services Network (ESN) with the publication of a pre-tender for air to ground (A2G) and aircraft radio systems.
The Christmas period seems to have encouraged UK ISP Vodafone to reduce their fixed line “superfast broadband” (FTTC) and phone prices to a rock bottom level, which means that new customers can take their 35Mbps (average speed) service from £20 a month or 63Mbps from £24 (non-Voda mobile users pay +£2 more).
As usual both packages include a wireless router, unlimited usage, phone line rental, Parental Controls, an 18 month minimum term contract and 6 months of free F-Secure anti-virus software for up to 5 devices. A new line provision charge of £60 (one-off) may also apply if you don’t currently have a fixed phone line at your property, but for most people there are no upfront fees to pay.
UK ISP Baltic Broadband and the not-for-profit Liverpool Internet Exchange (IX Liverpool) have today jointly announced that their 10Gbps business focused fibre optic network in Liverpool (Merseyside) has been expanded to include the Everton and Vauxhall areas.
Prior to this announcement the collaboration had already brought 10Gbps internet connections to entire areas of Liverpool (e.g. the Baltic Triangle, The Fabric District and the Lime Street/Renshaw street area), which they claim is “helping to transform entire communities.” Now it’s gone even further to include Everton and Vauxhall.
The Greater London Authority’s Strategic Investment Pot has awarded £800,000 to the Borough of Havering, which will be used to deploy a new ultrafast fibre optic network into the Rainham area. This could be used for improving connectivity to both public sector sites and businesses.
At present Havering is already extremely well covered by slower hybrid fibre services (FTTC) from Openreach (BT) and they have a significant level of ultrafast broadband coverage via Virgin Media’s cable network, although “full fibre” (FTTP) style connectivity is only available to a tiny proportion of the borough.
The First Day of Christmas
Matthew Riley, Chairman of Daisy Group talks about his focus for 2019 and changes from 2018
The Second Day of Christmas
Jonathan Wright, CTO of Digital-Assured tells us the top 10 Cognitive Technologies to look out for in 2019.
The Third Day of Christmas
Michael Bowyer, Chair of Innopsis, reflects on 2018. Does the next year look to be better or worse for Suppliers?
The Fourth Day of Christmas
Des Ward, from the Common Framework, provides his view of Data Governance direction for 2019.
The Fifth day of Christmas
Government have a commitment that SME’s to receive £1 in every £3 that the public sector spends by 2022. How have they doing this?
The Sixth Day of Christmas
Alyson Edmonds, Head of Digital Innovations at O2 Telefonica talks about Corporate Social responsibility and 2019.
The Seventh Day of Christmas
Connie O’Donnell of Oxford Nanopore Technologies speaks to us about what they are working on in 2019.
The Eighth Day of Christmas
Andrew Halliwell, Product Director at Virgin Media Business tells us his outlook for 2019.
Network Services 2 worth £5bn designed to drive further technological change across the public sector
Network Services 2 – the framework for central government and wider public sector bodies which need access to various telecommunications services including internet, wifi, voice, mobile, and cloud access – has gone live.
Customers using the previous Network Services agreement (expiring in July) achieved substantial savings. Similar savings are also expected under the new agreement.
Some government departments spending over half their budget with outsourcers, report finds
Study from IfG finds that outsourcing accounts for a third of all Whitehall spending
One third of all government spending is with outsourcing companies, with four departments spending more than half of all their revenue with outside firms, an Institute for Government report has found.
Telefónica-owned carrier O2 will seek damages from Ericsson over a software problem which caused telecoms outages in 11 countries.
Affected operators have taken on the complaints and reputation damage from customers. O2 is reportedly seeking ‘millions’ in compensation from Ericsson.
As predicted Openreach (BT) has today announced the forthcoming launch of a new Proof of Concept (PoC) trial, which will make it possible for ISPs to offer customers a “self install” (i.e. no engineer required) variant of their new 330Mbps capable G.fast (hybrid fibre) based ultrafast broadband service.
The G.fast technology works in a similar way to the VDSL2 based Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service. Essentially a fibre optic cable is run to your local PCP Street Cabinet, which is then fitted with an extension “pod” (on the side) to house the new line cards and kit. After that the G.fast service reaches your home via the existing copper line (works best on shorter lines under c.200-300 metres).
Throughout 2019, SD-WAN is set to further change the business landscape, unlocking the cloud’s potential and empowering businesses.
In 2018, despite experts estimating that up to 70 per cent of applications have moved to the cloud, the transformational promise of the cloud has fallen short of the hype and expectations. In a recent survey of IT decision makers, 85 per cent still say they are still years away from fully realising the benefits of the cloud, citing monthly cloud application disruptions and networks that can’t keep pace with demands.
Most of the time when a mobile operator wants to improve their network coverage then they install new base stations or small cells in high locations, such as on top of a building, mast or street light. Now Vodafone has decided to go in the opposite direction by installing small antennas “below street level.”
In this setup the operator intends to install a new range of fibre optic connected small 4G antennas (these will later be upgraded to support 5G from c.2020) underneath manhole covers. So far they’ve already installed two types of mobile-enabled manhole covers at their Newbury office and technology centre
This is the latest instalment of an exclusive series analysing the UK’s biggest public sector tech deals.
In partnership with data analysis firm Tussell, we drill down into the top five most valuable tenders and awards from the previous week, and take stock of which tech firms have won the biggest share of the public sector pie.