Sunday, May 19, 2013

UK - 93% of large organisations and 87 of small businesees suffered a security breach, a 50% year-on-year increase

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a report on Information security breaches survey 2013.

UK - Big Lottery Fund to spend £15 million in grants for development of online skills for individuals and organisations

The Big Lottery Fund reports it is investing £15 million in building the basic online skills of people and organisations so they can take full advantage of the benefits the Internet has to offer:
We expect the programme to be open for applications in the autumn. In the meantime we’re asking people to start thinking now about the partnerships they can establish that will convincingly inspire people across the UK to get online.

UK - Scottish SMEs lag the UK in spending on ICTs, which had an effect on their ability to communicate with present and future customers

Edas reports that small businesses in Scotland lagging the UK as a whole in new technology investment.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found the average Scottish SME had spent £2,650 on new technologies in the past year, compared with a UK average of £3,500:

About half of the Scottish respondents said they would invest more in new technology if their area had better local digital infrastructure.
Six in ten of UK SMEs said that investment had had a positive effect on their communication with existing customers, while half of the firms believed technology had helped in targeting new customers.

UK - OFCOM expecting White Space broadband services to be live in rural areas by 2014

Recombu reports that:
Ofcom is looking for companies to test drive rural broadband using the space between Freeview signals with a view to launch commercial services in 2014.

Northern Ireland - £5 million for infrastructure in rural areas to allow third parties to provide broadband

Cable reports that the Northern Ireland administration is to invest £5 million in rural broadband, in "areas that are currently unable to access fixed-line connectivity".

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will put infrastructure in place to allow third-party providers to deliver an improved service in 'notspot' communities.

The Minister, Michelle O'Neill MLA, said:

I hope that this funding will stimulate companies supplying broadband to get out into rural areas and use this infrastructure to provide access for rural dwellers and businesses to use broadband

UK - A future Labour government would take £75M away from cities to spend on rural broadband upgrades

Recombu reports that Helen Goodman MP, Labour's shadow minister for culture, media and sport made the commitment that:
a Labour government would take £75 million, half of the super-connected cities fund, and spend it on rural rollout.

UK - Arqiva has won the tender from HMG to enhance mobile coverage in rural Britain

Mobile Entertainment reports that:
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that Arqiva will lead the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which aims to enable mobile services in rural locations where there is no commercial business case to deploy such services.

As a result of the government’s announcement, up to 60,000 premises and sections of road will now be covered using the £150 million funding allocated to the project.

Under the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), Arqiva will be responsible for:
  • network planning;
  • site acquisition;
  • deployment of site infrastructure; and
  • installation of equipment.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

UK - Vouchers for funding for enhanced cyber-security of up to £5,000 per firm

The BBC reports the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)is running:
The Innovation Vouchers scheme, which is run by UK government agency the Technology Strategy Board, gives businesses the chance to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500,000 pot to improve their cyber security by bringing in outside expertise.

BIS is also publishing guidance to help small businesses put cyber security higher up the agenda and make it part of their normal business risk management procedures.

This is against a background in which a PwC and Infosecurity Europe poll found 80 per cent of firms had experienced a significant cyber-security breach in the previous year. While another:
... survey, carried out on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), revealed more businesses than ever face the threat of losing confidential information through cyber attacks, with breaches generally costing up to 6% of their turnover.

UK - Estimate that crowdfunded banking has provided £100 million in loans to over 1,700 companies to date

NESTA has published a report Banking on each other:
This report seeks to cast some light on the emerging field of peer-to-peer lending to businesses, using a large set of data collected through Funding Circle, the largest peer-to-peer business lending site in the UK. Funding Circle has facilitated approximately £100 million in loans to over 1,700 companies to date (as of April 2013).

EE - Now a majority data-revenue operator, with the decline of voice revenues and rise of data

Telco 2.0 reports recent results from EE (Everything Everywhere):
Importantly, EE is now a majority-data carrier, with 51% of its revenue being non-voice, and 82% of its postpaid subscriber base on smartphones

We’re also a little amused by the fact 0.77% of total 4G traffic is accounted for by, the 10th biggest single attraction - that’s got to be worth something in terms of publicity.

Shetland - Community broadband in Burrafirth (Shetland) launches 25 Mbps service

Cable reports a new wireless broadband services in West Burrafirth, Shetland:
Big communications firms have been unwilling to upgrade broadband networks in the area, so members of the West Burrafirth Community Broadband Group (WBCBG) took matters into their own hands by urging a local firm to carry out the work, reports the Shetland Times.

Lottery funding was secured for the project, prompting Shetland Broadband to install a wireless link at Engamoor capable of delivering speeds of around 25Mbps.

The service is set to go live today (May 1st 2013), offering residents and businesses a significant boost on the 160Kbps speeds previously available.

See the original story in the Shetland Times.

Kickstarter - Six months in Scotland shows 68% success rate raising £0.7M with median value of £1,461

Twintangible blogs on the first six months of Kickstarter in the UK, analysing the projects based in Scotland, though funding may well come from the UK or anywhere else on the Internet. Interestingly, nearly all the money was raised for projects in Edinburgh, with Aberdeen a not especially close second.
Of the eye catching projects the greatest total was raised by RunRev in Edinburgh whose project to take the Livecode software open source raised £493,795 from 33442 backers. But in terms of over achieving their target the Omega Titanium Wallet project from Fireti in Aberdeen outstrips all others by starting off looking for £4800 and raising £103,899 – a 2164% success rate!

Friday, May 3, 2013

UK - Review of rural broadband calls for more action and increased funding

Farmers Weekly has returned to its campaign Battling for Broadband which it ran in April 2012. It aimed to raise awareness of the "lack of adequate broadband in rural areas".

On the government's scheme to provide rural broadband, it quotes Charles Trotman, head of rural business development at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA):

The funding process has been horrendously complex...

For communities to match fund you're talking a lot of money and, in theory, they're supposed to have it completed by 2015 ... It could have been a lot easier.

FW complains that BT will pick up more than 40 local contracts, with 18 already signed.

The government has put aside £20m of which £10m came from DEFRA and the other £10m comes from the BDUK fund, which it will be allocated to community-run projects.

According to a DEFRA study, 92% of farmers had broadband, only 32% of had speeds of over 2Mbps, with 6% still using dial-up technology.