Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Glasgow - Smart City project to include 400 CCTV "super intelligent" cameras

The BBC reports that Glasgow City Council will install 400 super-intelligent cameras for CCTV intended to counter terrorism and prevent suicide.

This is part of the Future Cities Demonstrator funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board.

Cornwall - Superfast broadband reaches 80% coverage with a target of 95% including the Isles of Scilly

Telecoms.com reports that BT has reached 80 per cent coverage of Cornwall with Superfast Cornwall and expected to reach 95 per cent:
Take-up is also building strongly with over 24,000 subscribers through 32 service providers, including over 3,000 small businesses. Businesses continue to do great things with these connections.
And we also announced we would take fibre to one of Europe’s most isolated communities – the Isles of Scilly – comprising just 2,000 people on five islands 40km off-shore into the Atlantic. This innovative scheme will re-use two international service cables while navigating one of Europe’s most environmentally protected zones.

Friday, April 26, 2013

UK - OFCOM invites applications for a experimental white space technology

OFCOM has invited experimental services that use the "white space" in conventional television signals:
Ofcom is inviting industry to take part in the pilot, which is intended to take place in the autumn. The locations for the trial will be chosen once trial participants have been identified.

Following a successful completion of the pilot, Ofcom anticipates that the technology could be fully rolled out during 2014, enabling the use of white space devices across the country.

Under Ofcom’s plans, a TV white space device will not be able to start transmitting until it gets clearance from a database qualified by Ofcom and listed on a dedicated Ofcom website.

UK - Unbundling of local loops reach 9 million indicating the extent of competition

The UK Office of Communications reports the growth of local loop unbundling:
The number of ‘unbundled’ lines, where communications providers offer services to households using BT’s copper telephone network, has reached 9 million.

Fibre deployment and investment is expected to increase rapidly over the coming months. Virgin’s network already provides superfast broadband services to more than 2m households, while BT’s roll-out of fibre broadband is passing 100,000 new premises per week and has so far reached around 15m.

UK - Legislation to create the new Competition and Markets Authority given Royal Assent, it also modernises the system of copyright

BIS has reported that that HM The Queen has given her royal assent to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. This will:
establish a new Competition and Markets Authority, bringing together the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. This will be the UK’s lead competition authority with wide ranging powers to tackle anti-competitive behaviour, and a faster, clearer and more effective approach to help make markets work well for consumers. The competition regime will sustain fair and dynamic markets, encouraging businesses to set up and invest in the UK;

modernise the UK’s copyright regime to promote innovation in the design industry, encouraging investment in new products while strengthening copyright protections. Creating a level playing field for collecting societies and the thousands of small businesses and organisations who deal with them by strengthening the existing regulatory regime. For the first time orphan works will be licensed for use; these are copyrighted works for which the owner of the copyright is unknown or can’t be found. There will also be a system for extended collective licensing of copyright works;

create a power to give consumers the right to view and download the data businesses hold on them in an electronic format. This will help stimulate developers to create new data management tools and services;

Monday, April 8, 2013

e-Government - UK ranked 5th by Waseda University in Japan

Waseda University in Japan has ranked the UK fifth in a global e-government report.

1 Singapore
2 Finland
4 South Korea
5 UK
6 Japan
7 Sweden
8 Denmark
8 Taiwan
10 Netherland

Scotland - A possible shortfall of 45,000 skilled computer scientists over the next five years

The BBC reports a major computing skills gap opening up in Scotland:
The latest survey by the trade body ScotlandIS suggests that it is now growing faster than any other sector.

It calculates that 45,000 new professionals will be required in the next five years.

The information technology and digital sector already employs more than 100,000 people.

The Scotsman reports in a similar vein from the head of Cisco in Scotland:
THE head of computer networking giant Cisco’s operations north of the Border has voiced his fears over the £3.4 billion Scottish information technology (IT) industry’s ability to recruit enough talent in years to come.

Donald McLaughlin, country manager for Scotland, said that the sector faces competition from other fast-growing industries, such as life sciences and renewable energy.

UK - Think tank calls for a unitary police intelligence centre working on social media both listening and talking

Demos has published a report entitled Policing in an Information Age:
The widespread adoption of social media is one such change. Social media allows the police to engage and include the public in law enforcement in new, potentially transformative ways. But it also makes these engagements more difficult to control, and open to misuse and reputational damage. It allows the police to gather powerful, recent and possibly decisive intelligence – social media intelligence or ‘SOCMINT’ - in the interests of public safety. But there is a risk that this will be done in a way that is unsound, unsafe, and radically undermining of public trust. Social media is a new source of evidence for enforcement purposes, but also a new theatre of crime.

All forces in the UK have some presence on Twitter, with accounts for senior police officers, central communications, neighbourhood, helicopter, road and football policing teams.

The provision of legitimate, timely, decisive and robust SOCMINT can contribute decisively to public safety. Using social media to ‘crowd-source’ information is an important way of gaining valuable intelligence. ‘Listening’ to social media using powerful ‘big data’ acquisition and analytics tools can help the police spot emerging events, piece together networks and groups, discern public attitudes and improve situational awareness. More intrusive forms of intelligence collection – such as the use of intercept or covert human intelligence – may also be useful, although they will be used less frequently. It is likely that SOCMINT will become an increasingly important source of intelligence for the police. However, it requires a clear set of guidelines and regulations to ensure it is proportionate and based on broad public consent.

There is an opportunity for British police to be world-leaders in the ethical, effective and cost-saving use of social media.

A centralised SOCMINT ‘hub’ should be created. The Police need to evolve and strengthen SOCMINT capabilities. A single, networked hub of excellence and a managed network of experts should coordinate SOCMINT development across different branches of the police.

UK - BT CEO rejects claims by TalkTalk it is remonopolising local access and alleges only it is willing to invest in fibre access

The Telegraph reports the angry reaction of BT's CEO to complaints of the CEO Talk Talk:
The chief executive of BT has hit back against critics of his £2.5bn fibre broadband roll-out, calling Sir Charles Dunstone and others "copper Luddites" who just want to "hobble the UK economy for their own commercial reasons".

Ian Livingston rejected recent claims made by the chairman of TalkTalk that through Openreach it is rebuilding a powerful monopoly and crushing competition. He told The Daily Telegraph that rivals such as Sir Charles do not want to see BT succeed because they are "not prepared to invest in fibre themselves".

Sunday, April 7, 2013

South Africa - Govt consults on broadband policy under the end of April

My Broadband reports that the Department of Communications (DoC) published its “Consultation on the proposed National Broadband Policy for South Africa” in the Government Gazette No 36332 on 3 April 2013. Interested parties have 30 days to respond.