UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

Scatters £10m across country out of £200m pot


Government has revealed the first six areas in Blighty to trial speeds of 1Gbps in a £10m pilot, as previously revealed by The Register.

The areas include Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

In August, the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport had told industry it would trial a scheme to allow businesses to bid for vouchers worth up to £3,000 for "gigabit-capable" connectivity, and will pay the ongoing line rental costs.

That will most likely to be delivered by fibre but not exclusively so, said the documents.

The model is similar to that of the £100m broadband connection voucher scheme for speeds of more than 30Mbps in 2013-15, which was re-scoped after initially experiencing poor take-up from small businesses.

The latest scheme will be funded via the £200m "full-fibre" investment pot announced in the Spring budget and intended to leverage private sector investment in full-fibre broadband. The remaining £190m is due to be spent by 2020/21.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP said: "Full-fibre connections are the gold standard and we are proud to announce today the next step to get Britain better connected."

Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock MP said: "We want to see more commercial investment in the gold-standard connectivity that full fibre provides, and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen.

"To keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is, we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future." ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022