Airband seek to bring FTTP to 500k UK premises after ASI investment

UK Broadband ISP Airband has revealed that it is planning a major FTTP deployment after Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) acquired a majority stake in the Worcestershire-based firm.

Study: Full fibre most energy efficient broadband

A new Prysmian Group study, commissioned by Europacable, has found that Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) is the most energy efficient broadband, compared with other technologies such as FTTC and Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC).

Zen Internet joins CityFibre FTTP network

CityFibre has announced that Zen Internet has become the latest provider to join its national Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. Zen Internet joins the likes of major operators TalkTalk and Vodafone and smaller providers like Giganet on CityFibre’s network, having previously focused on selling Openreach products.

European Commission refers O2 Virgin Media merger back to CMA

The European Commission has ruled that the proposed merger of mobile operator O2 (Telefonica UK) and broadband provider Virgin Media should be referred back the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Gigabit broadband network goes live in Stoke-on-Trent

Over 2,000 Stoke-on-Trent homes will now have access to gigabit-capable FTTP broadband resulting from a £19.2 million partnership between Stoke city council and Swedish firm VXFIBER (VXF).

£55m digital infrastructure investment for Carmarthenshire

The Plaid Cymru-lead Carmarthenshire Council has approved an investment of £55 million for digital connectivity for the region. Plaid Cymru said that the upgrade, which constitutes part of the wider Swansea Bay City Deal, is essential for the region’s economic development.

Shell among reported bidders for Post Office telecoms business

Oil giant Shell Energy is reported to be among a number of bidders in the running to acquire the Post Office’s telecoms division. The business has around 500,000 phone and broadband customers and would reportedly be valued at around £100 million.

Ookla publishes Q3 UK broadband and mobile study

Ookla, the company behind speedtest.net, has published its Q3 2020 study of fixed broadband and mobile data speeds across the UK’s largest providers. Smaller providers were not included in the study, likely owing to a lack of data.

Ofcom investigating BT charges for customers in remote areas

Ofcom has begun an investigation into BT potentially overcharging customers in remote areas who seek to install broadband or upgrade their current connection, following reports that some customers were quoted up to £100,000. The telecoms regulator is reported to have held talks with the provider about how it has been calculating its quotes.

KCom aims to bring full fibre to 10,000 North Lincolnshire premises

Hull-based ISP KCom has announced that it will bring its Fibre to the Premises network to 10,000 North Lincolnshire premises as the first phase of a £100 million extension of its network.

ClearFibre and Connectus partnership to bring 1Gbps to Northern Powerhouse homes

A new partnership between ISP ClearFibre and connectivity provider Connectus looks set to bring gigabit-capable broadband to thousands of new build homes in Northern Powerhouse regions.

North Yorkshire superfast broadband project to push into next phase

North Yorkshire County Council will next week vote on awarding the £12.5 million contract for Phase 4 of the Superfast Broadband North Yorkshire (SFNY) project, which could bring superfast broadband coverage in the county up to 97 per cent.

Virgin Media unveils biggest ever broadband boost

Virgin Media has unleashed its largest ever broadband upgrade, with millions more customers now able to access contented speeds of up to 1Gbps downstream.

BT to deliver ultrafast broadband to parts of Devon

BT has announced that it has started work on a new £2.2 million ultrafast broadband network in Plymouth and South West Devon.

The contract to upgrade broadband in the area was won earlier this year and requires BT to install a fibre broadband network across a total of 131 buildings. These will include hospitals, clinics, schools, libraries and council buildings.

ISP set to roll out FTTP to 120,000 Lincolnshire premises after acquisition

The Quantum Group of Companies, which includes the ISP Quantum Air Fibre, has acquired engineering firm QConex and now plans to undertake a major Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network rollout to 120,000 premises in Lincolnshire.

New deal to deliver 1GB fibre to 5,000 Herefordshire premises

The state-supported Fastershire project has struck a deal with rural broadband provider Gigaclear and rival firm FullFibre to deliver access to a 1GB-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to 5,000 premises in the town of Ledbury, Herefordshire.

Marriott Hotels fined for breach of data security

The Marriott Hotels hospitality chain has been has been fined £18.4 million by the UK's data privacy watchdog.

According to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the breach of data security may have affected up to 339 million guests, including seven million UK-based guest records.

Schemes combine to boost superfast broadband in Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced that it will combine the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS) with the UK's Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme to boost the amount of funding available to remote properties in Scotland.

Three UK in £100m investment to boost mobile

Three UK has announced that it has agreed a £100 million investment deal with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to upgrade its fibre optic capacity in 250 UK towns and cities. The mobile network operator says that the deal will help it to “deliver the UK’s fastest 5G network” and “significantly enhance Three UK’s 4G (mobile broadband) service”.

Ex-BT CEO to head new government telecoms task force

Ex-BT CEO and former trade minister Lord Ian Livingston will head up a new “Telecoms Diversification Task Force”, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced.

Broadband providers support common platform, according to survey

According to a survey conducted by Point Topic for the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA), close to nine out of ten (88.7 per cent) of the UK’s challenger broadband networks are in favour of the creation of a common platform through which to provide wholesale services to third-party providers.

Scottish government to invest £4 million in 5G hubs

The Scottish government has announced that it will launch a £4 million package to establish a nationwide network of 5G hubs. The aim of the S5GConnect Hubs is to increase take-up of 5G based mobile technology. The project will be delivered through the Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) and the S5GConnect Programme.

Zoom introduces two-factor authentication

Videotelephony company Zoom has added two-factor authentication (2FA) to its video-conferencing platform as it looks to help organisations tackle identity theft and security breaches.

10 countries pass 95 per cent full fibre broadband coverage as UK lags

According to a new report from consultancy firm Arthur D. Little, 10 countries have now passed the 95 per cent threshold for full fibre broadband networks coverage. The report indicates that the UK continues to lag behind these levels, but is improving quickly.

CBI calls for Infrastructure Bank to help with full fibre broadband extension

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has joined calls for the UK government to form an Infrastructure Bank to help with the delivery of infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of gigabit-capable full fibre broadband, housing, roads and railways.

18 Northumberland schools set for gigabit broadband

Northumberland County Council is poised to next week approve an investment of £537,000 to provide 18 rural primary schools with a gigabit-capable broadband connection. Cabinet members will vote on the investment, which comes via the Department for Education’s £200 million Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, on September 8.

Survey: Customers turning away from TV and broadband bundles due to lack of value

An Opinium survey of 2,002 people in the UK, commissioned by Zen Internet, claims that customers are increasingly moving away from TV and broadband bundles, with streaming services said to offer better value.

MPs call for councils to help support UK gigabit rollout

UK MPs have called on local council authorities to help support the wider rollout of 5G networks and gigabit-capable broadband. The government has claimed that some deals for telecoms operators to access private and public land to build new networks “are not progressing quickly enough”.

Ofcom publishes 2020 study on quality of UK mobile and broadband ISPs

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its 2020 survey of service quality, call wait times, complaint response and install times at the UK’s largest broadband ISPs and mobile operators.

CityFibre to deploy FTTP network in Slough and Swindon

CityFibre has announced that it is planning to deploy a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband network in the towns of Slough, Berkshire and Swindon, Wiltshire. The Slough roll-out will cost £24 million, while Swindon will see a £40 million investment.

UCL scientists attain record 178 Tbps single fibre speed

Scientists at University College London’s (UCL) Optical Networks division have released a research paper detailing the successful use of “hybrid discrete Raman and rare-earth doped fibre amplifiers” in attaining a record single fibre speed of 178.08 Tbps (Terabits per second) over a 40 kilometre distance. The previous record speed stood at 150.3 Tbps.

Survey: 4.7 million suffer broadband outages in last year

According to a new Opinium survey from Uswitch.com, 4.7 million people across the UK have suffered a broadband outage of more than three hours within the past year, which it claims cost the economy around £1.5 billion.

Virgin Media claims to be UK largest gigabit network

Following recent roll-outs of its Gig1 broadband this month and in July, Virgin Media claims that it now has the UK’s largest gigabit capable network. The roll-outs mean that 3.6 million properties across the provider’s network can now access this connectivity and that a quarter of its network is gigabit enabled.

Customers report delays to regrades on Openreach lines

Broadband customers on Openreach FTTP-based networks, across various providers, have reported that their requests to regrade their service to faster tiers are facing delays. The delays seem to be largely impacting new build properties on greenfield sites and is being attributed to a system change made by BT Wholesale.

CityFibre completes and extends Stirling FTTH network build

CityFibre, in partnership with Vodafone UK, has announced the completion of its £10 million FTTH broadband network rollout in Stirling, as well as a £2 million extension to the network. The Scottish city becomes CityFibre’s first completed “Gigabit City” build.

Scottish broadband project to cover 950k premises

The Digital Scotland project with BT Openreach is almost at an end, and is expected to provide fibre broadband to a total of 950,000 extra premises.

Initially, the project aimed to deliver FTTC and FTTP services to hard to reach areas, which otherwise would not have been upgraded through commercial projects.

Data stolen in university ransomware attack

At least seven British higher education institutions have been targeted in a global ransomware attack on education cloud computing provider Blackbaud.

According to the company, student and alumni data was stolen in the attack, which took place in May this year. However, the firm has confirmed that no bank account details, credit card details or social security numbers were stolen.

Survey: Two thirds of Londoners experience broadband issues

A new YouGov poll conducted among 1,000 London adults between July 2nd-6th and commissioned by broadband ISP G.Network has claimed that around two-thirds of Londoners have experienced broadband problems.

Channel Islands to align with UK in excluding Huawei

The Channel Islands has suggested that it will follow the UK in excluding Chinese telecoms operator Huawei from acting as a supplier for its 5G networks. The UK government took the initial decision due to ongoing security concerns surrounding the company.

BT Chairman dismisses talk of Openreach sale

BT Chairman Jan du Plessis has dismissed rumours that the telecoms company is considering selling a stake in broadband business Openreach, saying at the company’s annual shareholder meeting that Openreach “remains an important part of the BT group”.

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.

Mobile-only ila Bank launches on AWS

Bahrain-based Bank ABC specialises in providing financial services to retail and wholesale clients. Having launched 40 years ago, the bank has had to adapt over the years to meet the changing needs of consumers.

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.

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