8,200 premises added to Devon and Somerset fibre project

The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project, which has so far helped 300,000 premises across the counties gain access to superfast broadband, has signed extension contracts with Airband and BT to add a further 8,200 premises by the end of 2021.

Shetland Islands Council considering rolling out broadband itself

The Shetland Islands Council (SIC) has suggested it will look at rolling out superfast broadband across the remote islands itself, due to what it calls the Scottish government’s “failure to deliver” under its £600 million Reaching 100% (R100) programme.

Ofcom calls for COVID-19 billing support extension

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has called for broadband providers, phone providers and mobile companies to offer continued support to customers struggling to pay their bills due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that: “The pandemic has changed how we live, with people more dependent than ever on home phones, mobile or broadband services.”

Hyperoptic to deliver 1 Gbps broadband to 5,400 Sheffield council houses

Hyperoptic has reached an agreement to expand its gigabit-capable full fibre (FTTP) service to cover 5,400 houses in Sheffield City Council’s housing portfolio. Currently, Hyperoptic’s service is deployed to around 3,500 private homes across Sheffield, meaning that the new agreement with the city council brings its coverage in the city up to 8,900.

O2 4G mobile extended to 91,000 extra postcodes this year

O2 has announced that its 4G mobile broadband network is now operational in over 18,000 regional towns, villages and hamlets across the UK. The announcement follows a service upgrade during 2020 across over 91,000 postcodes since the year began.

Virgin Media suffers significant London broadband outage

Thousands of Virgin Media customers in London reported significant broadband outages on Thursday, leaving many without internet connectivity. Virgin TV customers in other parts of the UK, including Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds, reported being hit by separate outages.

Virgin Media: UK households use extra 325GB of data during lockdown

In newly released figures, Virgin Media has revealed that households on their network have used an extra 325GB of data on average since the beginning of coronavirus lockdown. The Virgin network registered its busiest month on record in April 2020, with usage in May close behind, as people worked from home and children attended classes remotely.

Cross-party calls to give 1m children reliable broadband

A cross-party group of MPs and former ministers has called on the government to ensure that 1.3 million children have a reliable broadband connection at home, or else risk causing serious harm to their education.

Swish Fibre reveals full plan to bring FTTP network to Home Counties

Internet service provider Swish Fibre has revealed the full list of 33 Home Counties towns where it will roll out its 10 Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. The plan, which was unveiled with the first tranche of 11 towns in December 2019, will see the FTTP network made available to over 250,000 Home Counties premises.

Cityfibre begins £45 million Derby FTTH rollout

Cityfibre has begun construction on a new 1 Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home broadband network in the city of Derby. The provider is working with civil engineering firm J. McCann & Co Ltd on the contract, which will cost around £45 million.

YouGov survey: 28 per cent experience slower broadband during lockdown

According to a new YouGov survey of 2,301 adults in the UK, 28 per cent have experienced a “slightly worse” internet connection than usual during the COVID-19 lockdown. 7 per cent of those polled said that their broadband had been “much worse” but 57 per cent said that they had seen no change.

Welsh Government issues fibre rollout progress update

The Welsh Government has revealed its first quarterly progress report on its £22.5 million Phase 2 full fibre broadband rollout with Openreach. The rollout aims to bring gigabit-capable broadband to 26,000 premises across Wales by March 2021, so far 8,283 rural premises have been completed.

Gigaclear’s West Berkshire rollout nears completion

Rural broadband provider Gigaclear has reported that it’s gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network rollout in West Berkshire is approaching completion, providing over 14,000 premises with access to the ultrafast network.

EE report tracks UK internet usage during lockdown

EE has published its most recent Mobile Network Data report, tracking the period from February to May 2020 and showing the online trends and habits of the UK during the coronavirus lockdown thus far.

Virgin Media finishes Barnet FTTP build

Virgin Media has announced that it has finished its network expansion in Barnet, enabling 34,000 premises in the area to connect to its gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) platform.

The expansion forms part of the provider’s Project Lightning build, a £3 billion project which aims to add an additional 4 million premises across the UK to Virgin Media’s FTTP network.

BT in talks to sell Openreach stake to fund fibre rollout

BT is reportedly in talks to sell a stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary Openreach to infrastructure investors as it looks to fund its £12 billion rollout of 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology. The operator is looking to extend FTTP to 20 million UK premises by the mid- to late-2020s.

BT targets FTTP Broadband for 20 million premises

In its Q4 2019/20 financial results, BT Group has set a provisional target to boost its roll-out of gigabit-capable FTTP broadband to 20 million UK premises by the “mid- to late-2020s”.

O2 UK and Virgin Media discussing merger

Broadband ISP Virgin Media UK and mobile operator O2 are in discussions over a potential merger, O2’s parent company Telefonica has confirmed.

The potential deal would see O2‘s 34 million mobile customers come together with Virgin Media’s 5.3 million broadband, pay TV and mobile users.

Ofcom delays UK telecoms work from 2020 to 2021

Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, has published a revision of its proposed annual 2020/2021 work plan, with numerous delays to the UK regulator’s full-fibre broadband, mobile and regulation work, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Arson attack leaves 500 Glasgow premises without broadband

Arson attacks on underground fixed line broadband and phone cable chambers in the Springboig area of Glasgow have left around 500 premises without broadband or phone connectivity.

Police said that the attacks, in which the lids for footway boxes containing cables were damaged with flammable liquids, have caused “severe disruption” to several hundred local premises.

FTTH Council Europe unveils Market Panorama 2020

The FTTH Council Europe has revealed its 2020 Market Panorama, prepared by iDate, detailing the latest rankings and trends for fibre deployment across Europe. The UK was among five countries with the highest annual growth rate over the last year, with 50.8 per cent growth.

Government announces free laptops and 4G broadband for disadvantaged children

The government has announced that disadvantaged children will be given a free laptop or tablet and 4G mobile broadband to assist in their home education during the coronavirus crisis.

Rural broadband provider brings wireless broadband to Gloucestershire villages

Rural broadband provider Voneus has announced the extension of it superfast capable Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network to cover premises around the rural Gloucestershire villages of Sharpness and Newton.

Coronavirus: Openreach pauses future FTTP build plans

UK network operator Openreach (BT) has announced that, on account of the coronavirus pandemic, its future build plans for G.fast and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) have been put on hold and that engineering work to extend the network has been scaled-back.

Ofcom relaxes UK broadband consumer protections

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has relaxed consumer protection rules relating to end-of-contract notifications, speed guarantees and automatic compensation for ISPs during the coronavirus lockdown.

CityFibre completes FibreNation acquisition

UK full fibre provider CityFibre has confirmed that it has completed the £200 million acquisition of FibreNation from TalkTalk Group, following shareholder approval. The acquisition sees CityFibre continue its strategy of investing in the rollout of full fibre broadband across the UK.

O2 UK drops data charges for vital websites

Telecommunications company O2 UK has announced that it won’t charge customers’ data allowance for access to over 20 key sites, such as those providing financial, health and emotional guidance, during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

BT reveals details of new full fibre tiers

UK ISP BT has revealed details of its new full fibre (FTTP) ultrafast broadband plans. The new packages include a gigabit capable plan offering average download speeds of 900Mbps+.

Previously, the provider’s fastest tier available to most consumers was its 33Mpbs tier on its Openreach network. From March 23rd 2020, two new top tiers, of 500Mpbs and 1000Mpbs, will be added to its portfolio.

Pressure grows for free home broadband during COVID-19 crisis

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has said it is in the “very early” stages of talks with the UK government over how they can best support the UK public’s increased reliance on broadband during the coronavirus crisis.

Vodafone to provide free mobile data access to NHS sites as coronavirus hits industry

Vodafone has informed its mobile customers that they will not be charged for any data consumed while using National Health Service (NHS) websites and online services.

Ofcom finalises 5G Auction Rules for 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has finalised its rules for 2020’s upcoming auction of the 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz radio spectrum bands, which are set to further boost the UK’s new 5G mobile network coverage and broadband speeds.

Inquiry to examine government’s broadband pledge

A cross-party group of MPs have launched an inquiry to assess how “realistic” the government’s aim of ensuring that all UK premises will have access to a gigabit-capable broadband service by 2025 is.

14.3 per cent of UK premises can access gigabit broadband

According to new data from Thinkbroadband, gigabit capable broadband coverage is now available to 14.55 per cent of UK premises, roughly 4.4 million or one in seven premises.

This is compared to 12.4 per cent, or 3.7 million premises, that have access to full fibre networks.

1Gbps broadband comes to West Midlands

Virgin Media has announced that it will enable access to its new 1104Mbps Gig1Fibre broadband speed upgrade across over 1 million homes in the West Midlands, starting early next month.

This will largely be focused around the large towns of Birmingham and Coventry and their surrounding areas.

Ofcom warns ISPs over email address charges

Ofcom has written to UK internet service providers voicing their concerns over the charges some customers are facing to keep their old email addresses.

Many broadband providers charge customers for keeping their dedicated email addresses with them if they choose to change providers. TalkTalk charges £5 per month, while BT charges £7.50 per month.

Alncom targets rural Durham with wireless and full-fibre

Internet service provider Alncom has begun rolling out its offerings of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to deliver gigabit-capable broadband in parts of rural Durham.

BT UK to trial London Underground Wi-Fi

UK internet service provider BT has invited some of its customers to take part in a trial of a new London Underground Wi-Fi service.

The trial will start in mid-March of this year, running for approximately 3 weeks. It follows a similar announcement from EE, which announced it would join related trials on the underground network with TfL (Transport for London), also starting in March.

Virgin Media data breach exposes details of 900,000

Virgin Media has published an apology after a data breach resulted in the personal details of around 900,000 customers being left unsecured.

Virgin Media adds 2,500 Northern Ireland homes to FTTP network

UK ISP Virgin Media has completed an extension of its network, connecting 2,500 homes in the County Down, Northern Ireland villages of Moira and Magheralin to its 516 Mbps Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) broadband network.

BT ultrafast network reaches 4.88 million premises

The BT Group’s third quarter 2019/2020 results show that Openreach’s ultrafast broadband network now covers 4.88 million premises across the UK.

This represents an increase from 4.2 million in the previous quarter. Coverage is comprised of 2.156 million on FTTP, an increase from 1.81 million the previous quarter, and 2.725 million via G.fast, an increase from 2.42 million.

Openreach adds 227 rural UK areas to FTTP rollout

Openreach (BT) has announced that it will add a further 227 new locations in the UK to its rollout of 1Gbps-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband, covering roughly 250,000 new premises.

The new locations comprise “harder to reach” rural areas, including market towns and villages, as the operator looks to connect more remote parts of the country to fibre broadband.

Ofcom publishes final Fairness Framework

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its final Fairness Framework guidelines, which it will use to show the way it assesses how fairly customers are treated by mobile, home phone, pay TV and broadband providers.

The framework is based around 5 points, focusing on how provider service is experienced by customers and the potentially harmful effects of unfairly delivered service.

TalkTalk completes FibreNation sale to CityFibre

TalkTalk has confirmed that it has completed the sale of its full fibre network FibreNation to CityFibre for £200 million in cash.

The deal was initially delayed during last year’s UK general election, following the Labour Party’s announcement of its policy of nationalising parts of the Openreach network and offering free full fibre broadband.

Scotland targets complete full fibre coverage by 2027

In its first 30-year strategy, the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (ICS) has set out plans for the country to have full fibre broadband available for all premises as well as for direct international 5G connections extending further than London.

BT Chief Executive warns Prime Minister over fibre pledge

BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen is reported to have told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that cooperation between rival broadband providers will be required if Johnson is to fulfil his pledge to deliver access to full-fibre broadband nationwide by 2025.

Openreach extends free fibre offer for new-build contractors

Openreach (BT) has extended its scheme offering free Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) installation for new housing developments of 20 or more properties.

Lowering the threshold to 20 from its previous level of 30 or more, Openreach says the scheme will benefit in excess of 13,000 new homes in around 600 housing developments per year.

Cloud computing spending reaches record-breaking level in 2019

Worldwide spending on cloud computing infrastructure was up by 37 per cent in 2019, reaching a record-breaking total of $107 billion.

GCHQ issues data security warning over Windows 7

With Microsoft set to end security support for Windows 7 on Tuesday, UK national intelligence and security agency GCHQ has warned people not to conduct internet banking or use emails on devices still using the operating system.

Scottish government reveals voucher scheme after fibre timetable extended

The Scottish government has revealed that work on its R100 plan to extend superfast broadband to every premises in Scotland will now continue past 2023, missing the initial target of 2021.

Those who will not be connected on the plan’s original schedule will now be offered a voucher scheme to allow them to access superfast connectivity from commercial providers.

Ofcom aims to boost UK broadband

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched its Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review 2021-2026 (FTMR), in which it lays out major proposals to “supercharge” investment in the UK’s fibre broadband networks and ethernet services.

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