News w/c 4th February 2019

Revealed: the biggest suppliers of govtech in 2018

New Statesman

Bytes Software


DXC Technology

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.

The week in govtech: the biggest tenders and awards (5/2/19)


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

Can ‘Zero Trust’ networking work for the public sector?

Networking Plus

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 Media trials 8.5Gbps broadband in the UK


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.

Solving the procurement conundrum

Open Access Government

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.

What works in networks?


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”.

New security flaw found in 5G communications standards


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.

News w/c 28th January 2019

Taking account of a supplier’s approach to payment in the procurement of major contracts


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.

Welsh Government urged to unite to help boost 5G

Mobile News

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.

Supply Chain Visibility to focus on SME


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 hiring 3,000 new trainee engineers to boost full-fibre rollout

E and T

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.

The next phase of the SD-WAN evolution requires integrated security

IT Pro Portal

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.

CityFibre extend investment in Huddersfield

Mobile News

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.

First commercial 5G core expected in 2020

Channel Life

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.

BT selects SevOne Data Platform to Accelerate Digital Transformation Strategy

BW CIO BusinessWorld

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.

GDS awards SMS firms GOV.UK Notify contracts


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.

News w/c 21st January 2019

The week in govtech: the biggest tenders and awards (23/01/19)

New Statesman

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

ProActive Investors

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.

‘Broadband lottery’ as study finds Scots get UK raw deal over internet speeds

The Herald

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).

Using wireless as a primary WAN link to accelerate IoT deployment


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.

Cityfibre Begin 1Gbps FTTH Home Broadband Rollout in Huddersfield


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.

Microsoft ends support for Windows 10 Mobile this year


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.

Public sector technology – 2019 cybersecurity trends

IT Pro Portal

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.

  1. Skills are the solution
  2. Technology platforms are consolidated
  3. Press pause on projects
  4. Purchasing of security tools is centralised by the NHS
  5. A mobile working environment driven by Brexit
  6. Threat from nation states intensifies

IBM and Vodafone team up for digital transformation venture around AI, 5G and edge

Telecoms Tech News

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.

Early Engagement and Social Value biggest impact for procurement


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

Key Findings

  • 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

News w/c 14th January 2019

Top digital transformation tech investment priorities for 2019: Cloud, cybersecurity and AI


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.

Farmers Bemoan Poor UK Rural Mobile and Broadband Connectivity


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.

Courts service flags up GovWifi capability

UK Authority

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.

2019 Predictions And The Start Of 5G

IT Security Guru

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

Daily Mail

  • 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.

Public Technology

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.

Cloud hardware spend edges ahead of traditional setups for the first time

The Register

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 digital chief moves to digital GP company


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 –

With Advice Cloud

How should you approach Network Services 2 Framework?

by The Innopsis Podcast

News w/c 7th January 2019

Public Technology

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.

Everyone will need gigabit broadband, CityFibre claims


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.

AWS to host UK government’s Crown Marketplace

DCL Search

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.

Huawei launches ‘industry-first’ AI data centre switch amid trade war

DCL Computing

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.

GlobalData expects 5G ‘rush’ in 2019 – eventually


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.”

NHS England claims it will be all-digital within the decade

The Register

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.

Liverpool to deploy full fibre network


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.

Will 5G be turned to as a safety net if rural broadband is not rolled out?


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.

Fast broadband is ‘tantalisingly close’, but BT just can’t close the gap

The Times

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.

News w/c 31st December 2018

Cybersecurity Guidelines Released for Healthcare


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.

SMEs urged to get on board with Network Services 2 framework

Computer Weekly

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.


University launches ambitious new Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership

BBC News

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

University of Birmingham

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.

Vodafone UK Discounts FTTC Superfast Broadband Prices


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.

Biz 10Gbps Baltic Broadband Fibre Expands to Everton and Vauxhall


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.

Havering in London UK Secures £800k to Build Fibre Optic Broadband


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.

Chinese Experts Set Foot In 6G Research

The Eagle Online

Southeast University in Eastern China’s Jiangsu Province on Thursday said a team has begun to research 6G mobile networks.
Six G uses a combination of the latest in radio and fibre optic technologies and delivers the internet through the air, which means you do not have to rely on old copper cables or calculate your broadband speeds on how far you live from the exchange.
You Xiaohu, a professor with the university and the team leader, said they have set sights on the early research and development of 6G mobile networks, based on the 5G technologies.
You said compared with 5G technologies, 6G will cover a wider range of fields with higher speed and greater security.

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.


News w/c 10th December 2018

Government Networks Services 2 framework goes live

GovTech Leaders

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.

Public Technology

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.

O2 seeks millions in damages from Ericsson following outage

Telecom Tech News

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.

Openreach to Start UK ISP Trial of Self Install Broadband


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 (hybrid fibre) based ultrafast broadband service.

The 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 service reaches your home via the existing copper line (works best on shorter lines under c.200-300 metres).

2019 predictions: the year of SD-WAN

IT ProPortal

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.

Vodafone Improves UK 4G and 5G Mobile Coverage via Manholes


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

The week in govtech: the biggest tenders and awards (10/12)

New Statesman

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.

News w/c 3rd December 2018

How 5G technologies can be implemented more efficiently

Tech Radar

Newspaper reports have claimed that ISP BT are in early discussions with Apple over what could represent a significant shift in their Pay TV strategy within the United Kingdom, which might result in their EE mobile brand bundling Apple’s set-top-boxes with their home broadband and phone packages. Sources are alleged to have informed the Telegraph


For all its good intentions, the government’s flagship digital services framework remains hamstrung by the wrong strategy and technical challenges, believes Romy Hughes of Brightman

The UK public sector spends over £200bn a year procuring goods and services from third parties. But, despite its efforts, a disproportionate amount of this is still spent with the same large outsourcers. 
The G-Cloud framework – and the numerous other frameworks that have followed it – have all sought to break down any unfair advantages that the ‘old guard’ of suppliers may have, and to make government contracts more accessible to SMEs. But, with business still being awarded to the same names again and again, questions are being asked about the future of these framework agreements.
First and foremost, it is difficult to question the government’s commitment to the digitisation of public services and the role it feels SMEs can play in this journey. 
The government has remained publicly committed to spending 33% of its own procurement directly with SMEs by 2022. It has also created the Government Digital Service (GDS), the Cabinet Office ‘centre of excellence which aims to drive the digital transformation of government across all departments. Again, another very positive step.
However, the best will in the world doesn’t always translate into the results you want. In the case of the G-Cloud, results are definitely falling short of the mark. In G-Cloud 9, for example, while SMEs accounted for 80% of registered suppliers on the framework, only 56% of total sales by value were awarded to SMEs. This meant 44% of business was still picked up by a handful of the usual suspects.
What is going wrong?

AWS spinoff is inevitable

Business Insider

Amazon will spin off its cloud business in the near future, unlocking tens of millions — perhaps even hundreds of millions — of dollars in value, marketing guru Scott Galloway said Monday at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference.

The move will also help the company placate regulators who are starting to scrutinize its anticompetitive practices, said Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

After the e-commerce giant spins it off, Amazon Web Services (AWS) “will be one of 10 most valuable companies in the world,” he said.

“The question then becomes, what happens to the old [retail-side of] Amazon,” Galloway added.

Cityfibre Win Contract to Build Gigabit Fibre Network in Suffolk UK

ISP Review

Innopsis member, Cityfibre has secured the £11.9m contract to build a new Gigabit (1Gbps+) capable “full fibre” broadband / Ethernet network in Suffolk (England), which will initially focus on connecting public sector sites across 10 towns before being expanded to reach local businesses and possibly homes. ISP and Innopsis member, MLL Telecom is also involved.

Back in October 2018 the Government announced that Suffolk would become the first local area to be awarded £5.9 millionof public funding from the third wave of their Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) challenge fund, which they said would be used to “[enable] next-generation full fibre connections to key public buildings”.

What does Brexit mean for the NHS?

Health Tech Digita

In regards to Brexit, the NHS will be impacted hugely, regardless of whether there is a deal in place or if Britain withdraws in a no-deal Brexit, but what does Brexit really mean for the NHS?


In regards to Brexit, the NHS will be impacted hugely, regardless of whether there is a deal in place or if Britain withdraws in a no-deal Brexit, but what does Brexit really mean for the NHS?

  1. Will EHIC Still Apply?
  2. Will The NHS Be Understaffed?
  3. Will There Be Enough Medicine?
  4. Will The NHS Really Receive £350 Million After Brexit?
  5. Does EU Migration Impact NHS Demand?
  6. Will Medical Research Suffer?

Public Technology

BEIS select committee urges the government to act ‘at the earliest opportunity’ to get back on track

The government’s efforts to drive a third of its procurement spending to SMEs have “moved in the wrong direction” in the last few years, MPs have found.

In a newly published report, members of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said that “the government deserves some credit for the various steps it has taken to make it easier for SMEs to bid for public-sector contracts”. 

But headway made towards the goal of spending one pound in three with smaller firms has slipped of late, MPs said. The government is now “in danger of missing” its long-held ambition of achieving the 33% target by 2022 – despite this date having already been shifted back by two years.

“Progress in recent years has moved in the wrong direction in terms of central government contracts,” the report said. “In addition, it is not clear what progress is being made in terms of the percentage of local authority procurement spend assigned to SMEs.”


Hancock says his endorsement of GP at Hand helped competitors


Matt Hancock has told NHS IT suppliers his endorsement of GP at Hand has helped its competitors, even as he faces fresh criticism for supporting the digital GP practice.

He has also hinted at further changes to NHS and GP funding rules to accommodate digital providers like GP at Hand, suggesting it needed to be linked to a patient’s home address rather than their GP practice.

The health and social care secretary made the comments during a roundtable event on 21 November, convened by HSJ to discuss digital technology and the impact on general practice.

Thousands of North East homes – and public places – could get superfast broadband

Chronicle Live

Ultrafast broadband could be rolled out to thousands of homes and businesses across the North East if a £24m upgrade gets the go-ahead.

One of the first actions of the newly-created North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) looks set to be putting a bid together for a massive upgrade of the area’s digital infrastructure.

The new body – which covers Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland – wants the Government to commit £12m to install ultrafast fibre optic cabling in up to 900 public buildings across the region by 2024, which could then be extended to nearby residents.


The Verge


Even if AT&T launches a 5G mobile network by the end of the year — AT&T said “in the next few weeks” over five weeks ago, and it’s sticking by “end of the year” as of today — you won’t just be able to run out and buy a 5G phone.

The only confirmed device so far for AT&T’s network is the chunky Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, and AT&T tells us that the so-called “puck” will be its only 5G device available at launch.

News for w/c 26th November 2018

Healthcare primed to become fastest-growing sector for data readiness

Building Better Healthcare

With healthcare data demand set to outpace streaming services by 2025, a new white paper from IDC, has been launched, revealing that the healthcare industry will grow 13% faster than the other industries, while growth in hypercritical data is expected to grow over 47% on average, more than doubling every other year

  • Research reveals healthcare could be improved immensely by blockchain and AI investment, yet only 60% of healthcare executives have a blockchain implementation plan
  • Over 40% of healthcare respondents surveyed have difficulty hiring employees with the necessary data skill set, and this dynamic is not improving quickly
  • Healthcare is being driven by the shift to value-based care, rise of consumerism, and promise of personalised medicine

Cisco Forecasts Exploding SD-WAN Traffic

Virtualisation & Cloud Review

Cisco has released its big annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) report, which forecasts a huge rise in IP traffic, much of it driven by the exploding software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) market.

SD-WAN growth provides perhaps the most visible sign of the disruptive, game-changing software-defined networking (SDN) movement making inroads into the enterprise.

Globally exporting the NHS

National Health Executive

The NHS must export its services and expertise to protect its lead as the global healthcare market explodes, argues Professor Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, outgoing chair of NHS England.

We’re at a turning point in history as global healthcare cost and demand rise – due not only to the increase in ageing populations with complex conditions, but also to a huge expansion of the middle classes in countries such as India and China.

For instance, using a fitting medium for 2018, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted that his country is witnessing “an expansion of the neo-middle class” following  the announcement of its highest GDP growth figures in two years. 

Tom Loosemore reminds us just how much digital government is flailing in the UK


One of the co-founders of the Government Digital Service, and now partner in Public Digital, Tom Loosemore gave evidence to the Science and Technology Committee on their inquiry into digital government – and it made for interesting viewing.

Today, Tom Loosemore, accompanied by Dafydd Vaughan, both co-founders of the Government Digital Service (GDS), answered questions by MPs on the achievements and failings of the government in adopting internet-era ways of working. During this session, Loosemore reminded us just how little leadership and direction we are currently receiving by those in charge at GDS and from the centre of government.

O2 UK Lays Groundwork for 5G with London Trial of Massive MIMO


Mobile operator O2 UK has today announced that they’ve begun a new pilot with Nokia in parts of London (i.e. Kings Cross and Marble Arch), which will test Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology as a way of helping to improve Mobile Broadband speeds in preparation for future 5G services.

In simple terms Massive MIMO technology uses multiple antennae to send and receive data more efficiently to lots of users. The enhancement forms part of what we expect to see from future deployments of 5G mobile technology, although it can also be made to work with existing 4G networks and this seems to be how O2 are piloting it. In that sense we wouldn’t call it a “5G trial“, as some others have done, but it’s definitely a stepping stone.

Work set to get underway on Jersey 5G network in 2019


Work is set to get underway on installing Jersey’s 5G network next year.

There are plans for it to be up and running by 2021, while widespread coverage is not expected in the UK until 2022 or later.

One of the main benefits delivered by 5G is a much quicker download speed than a top end 4G network, allowing the downloads of 3D video and Ultra HD.

Yorkshire LEPs approve merger plans to secure ‘bigger share of the prize’

Public Sector Executive

Two local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) in Yorkshire have both approved merger proposals to create a combined Yorkshire LEP responsible for billions of business and infrastructure investment.

The new organisation will be responsible for investment to boost economic growth and social inclusion, covering a region of 4,000 square miles comprising towns, cities, and rural and coastal areas, which represents 8% of England.

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

BT promises an end to WIFI blackspots with launch of new home broadband package

Total Telecom

BT’s Complete WIFI service comes with the industry’s first WIFI strength guarantee – promising compensation for any customers who do not receive a strong signal in every single room of their house

BT has launched a new home broadband service that it says will bring an end to domestic WIFI blackspots. BT will guarantee its customers a strong, reliable WIFI signal in every room of their house, using WIFI discs to power its Complete WIFI service.

Capita seeks new networking chief: Up for it?

The Register

Capita is looking for a new networks chief.

The company has confirmed that Béatrice Butsana-Sita, formerly managing director at its Networking Solutions division, is no longer with the company. Butsana-Sita joined Capita in 2016from BT.

The network team runs vital communications infrastructure for customers including the police and first responders, local authorities, and private sector clients including retailer John Lewis.

The firm remains the biggest supplier of IT outsourcing services to UK businesses and the public sector, though the direction of travel has given top brass food for thought.

Capita sources told The Register that a brutal programme of cuts had left staff struggling to maintain SLAs.

News for w/c 19th November 2018

Google’s cloud business under Greene was plagued by internal clashes, missed acquisitions, insiders say


When Google CEO Sundar Pichai handed Diane Greene the keys to the company’s fledgling cloud business three years ago, it was supposed to mark the internet company’s arrival into enterprise computing.

For years, Google had struggled to get out of its own way in business software, hamstrung by a developer-centric culture that prioritised automation and fast, easy-to-use products over communication with business buyers and users. The huge profit margins in the online advertising business made it hard to justify loading up on expensive salespeople and marketing campaigns

Dell EMC and Inet join forces on cloud offering

The Nation

DELL EMC Thailand has joined with Internet Thailand (Inet) to provide Inet Dell Could as a service to help Thai businesses, along with other companies across the Indochina sub-region, embark on digital transformation.

The company said Inet Dell Could will offer not only infrastructure as a service but platform as a service as well as Big Data analytics as a service. This will encourage businesses to transform to the digital realm with greater insights into data for decision-making. Both companies invested on their own to build the capability to offer the service and they both also do the marketing

5G Mobile Trial in Japan Delivers Broadband Speeds of 27Gbps


A joint outdoor field trial by Mitsubishi and NTT DOCOMO in Japan appears to have achieved a “world’s first” by pushing the future 5G mobile network technology to deliver maximum throughput speeds of 27Gbps and 25Gbps (communication distances of 10m and 100m respectively) via one mobile terminal in the 28GHz band.

Secure Chorus publishes new white paper on Emergency Services Communications

Security News Desk

ecure Chorus has announced the publication of its latest white paper entitled ‘Emergency Services Communications: Secure Chorus Compliant Products interoperability with Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk Products.’

Public safety organisations and other relevant stakeholders, says the paper, more than ever have a pressing requirement for reliable, secure and interoperable multimedia communication technologies to support their operational effectiveness and service delivery in disaster response scenarios such as natural and man-made crises

Holograms to Match of the Day: Huawei shindig shows 5G is still playing all things to all people

The Register

But whatever, you can expect phones next year

After years of interminable waffle, 5G is almost upon us, and Huawei wants to tell us what works – and what must wait. At this stage, the wrinkles are as valuable as the milestones, because 5G is a vast smorgasbord of different technologies and aspirations.

Not everything has been nailed down yet by the 3GPP Release 15 committee, but enough detail was established in June for the industry to charge on regardless*.

At Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), Huawei deputy chairman and rotating CEO Ken Hu** said that 154 carriers in 66 countries are testing 5G, and Huawei itself has shipped 10,000 5G basestations.

But Huawei doesn’t expect 5G smartphones to reach decent volumes until 2021. That’s necessary for the mass market to take off.

TalkTalk to move headquarters and take on BT’s Openreach with new fibre company

DCL Search

Talktalk Telecom Group PLC said it would relocate its headquarters from London to Salford next year and accelerate its fibre broadband rollout as it reported a 0.6% dip in first-half revenue.

Hundreds of roles will be relocated to Salford, where its business and technology teams are already based, while the firm will start hiring for new posts at the site next year.

Construction Starts on Cityfibre’s 1Gbps Home Broadband in Stirling


Fibre optic network builder Cityfibre has announced that their £10m investment to build a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband ISP network in the city of Stirling (Scotland), which will be sold on to consumers via UK ISP Vodafone, has now begun.

At present Cityfibre already has a 24km long Dark Fibre network in Stirling, which is used to serve public sector sites and businesses. But in April 2018 both Cityfibre and Vodafone jointly announced that they’d be using this as a stepping stone to build a much wider residential focused Gigabit broadband network.


Telia and Nokia launch live 5G network in Finland

Total Telecom

The test site is located in the Oritkari-Nuottasaari area of the city

Telia and Nokia have joined forces to launch Finland’s first live 5G network in the town of Oulu. The network will allow industrial companies and logistics operators to develop new new digital operating models, ready for the commercial launch of 5G next year. 

BT’s new converged smart network will have 5G at its heart

Total Telecom

BT is set to launch commercial 5G services in 16 towns and cities across the UK in 2019

BT will put 5G at the heart of its fully converged smart network, when it launches the next generation technology next year, according to the company’s chief technology officer, Howard Watson.