VoD services, except for BBC iPlayer, are not subject to Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code, which includes enhanced protections to audiences from harmful and offensive material. VoD services apply a range of audience protection tools, including password-protected accounts, pin codes, content warnings and age verification. However, approaches are not consistent across services and can lack familiar, trustworthy signposting and guidance, which may cause concern and confusion. The government is minded to better align the rules between VoD services that provide a TV-like experience and ‘traditional’ linear TV, ensuring UK audiences receive a similar level of protection.
The Welsh Development Quality Requirements 2021 – Creating Beautiful Homes and Places, is a document that sets out the minimum functional quality standards for new and rehabilitated affordable homes. It has been updated to include new provisions on broadband and home working, including:
- Providing sufficient space for occupants to set up a home office in a suitable room to allow home working; and
- being ready for gigabit-capable broadband connectivity – meaning FTTP or gigabit wireless technologies must be provided to every home. Where gigabit connectivity is not yet available, the physical infrastructure must be made available throughout the site and into the home, to enable future installation by ISPs without disruption.
The document can be read in full here.
Building Digital UK has launched an Open Market Review (OMR) to identify potential areas for government intervention to support gigabit-capable broadband. The OMR Request for Information is to confirm where gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure currently exists or was planned to be built in the next 3 years across the geographical areas outlined below. (more…)
The government has announced a three-year trial to target hard-to-reach homes using the UK water network. The project will also look to test solutions that reduce the amount of water lost every day due to leaks using the same fibre optic cables (fibre has already been deployed in water pipes in other countries, such as Spain). According to the government, about 20% of the total water put into the public supply is lost every day due to leaks and the water companies have committed to delivering a 50% reduction in leakage with the help of this project.
The government has published a summer update on the Project Gigabit Delivery plan and procurement pipeline. It reveals that up to 1,850,000 additional premises across 26 counties in England will get access to gigabit-capable broadband. This brings the current total number of premises in scope for government-funded coverage to 2.2 million, with more still to be announced over the coming months across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The government expresses confidence in exceeding the gigabit coverage target (85% of UK premises) by 2025. (more…)
As part of Project Gigabit, Building Digital UK (BDUK) is consulting on a new procurement to extend the coverage of gigabit-capable broadband across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in South West England. BDUK is requesting information and supporting evidence on gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure within the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly intervention area and would like to hear from all relevant stakeholders in relation to the target intervention area found in the Request For Information document. (more…)
The government has launched a real-world testing facility, SONIC Labs, to help accelerate the adoption of Open RAN technology and help Britain diversify its supply chain. The lab will bring in multiple providers to supply components for 5G radio equipment. It is being run by Ofcom and Digital Catapult, who have built the facility using existing Digital Catapult infrastructure and capability, £1 million of seed funding from DCMS, and a bespoke SONIC Labs branch as part of Ofcom’s Innovation Lab in Riverside House. It will work with a diverse range of vendors to explore new open approaches to telecoms networks.
This is part of the government’s Diversification Strategy and follows the establishment of the Telecoms Diversification Taskforce aimed at reducing the reliance on high-risk vendors and bringing more players into the market.
The Gigabit Take-up Advisory Group (GigaTAG) was set up in August 2020, led by Which? to look into how to stimulate demand among consumers and businesses for gigabit-capable broadband. The final report has been published. BSG was part of the advisory group as the voice of the industry. To coincide with the launch of the report, Which? CBI, FSB, Ofcom and BSG hosted a panel discussion to explore the recommendations set out in the report and how these can be taken forward. (more…)
Consultation on regulations to implement the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) ActGulistan Ladha
The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act, which received Royal Assent in March, creates a new route through the courts that operators can use to access blocks of flats and apartments if a landowner is repeatedly unresponsive to requests for access. The Act will prevent a situation where a leaseholder is unable to receive a service due to the silence of their landowner. (more…)
The government has published ‘Delivering a gigabit-capable UK: Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy‘ which provides an end to end overview of how the government will manage the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy scheme within Project Gigabit.
By way of background, the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review published in July 2018 laid out a vision for a full fibre and 5G future for the UK highlighting the considerable potential benefits to the UK. One key finding was that the UK was in danger of falling behind on rolling out fibre and 5G connections and proposed as part of a wider range of measures an “outside in” procurement approach, named the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy. (more…)
The government has announced the establishment of a new National Data Strategy Forum, bringing together key voices from industry, privacy groups and academia to help implement the UK’s National Data Strategy. The Forum will be co-chaired by Minister for Media and Data John Whittingdale and techUK’s Sue Daley. (more…)
Building Digital UK (BDUK) has launched ‘Project Gigabit Lot 5 Public Review‘ which is seeking information and supporting evidence about gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure within the Cambridgeshire project area.
Connecting Cambridgeshire conducted an Open Market Review (OMR) for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in December 2020. This review process aims to validate the outcome of the OMR to ensure it correctly represents the information provided by suppliers and that the right areas are targeted for government investment. Stakeholders, including broadband infrastructure operators, ISPs, the public, and businesses, are invited to provide feedback about the proposed eligible areas for government investment (intervention). (more…)
The new National Security and Investment Act enhances the government’s ability to investigate and intervene in mergers, acquisitions and other deals that could threaten the UK’s national security. The new measures are designed to simplify and speed up the investment screening process for investors and businesses. A new Investment Council will act as an advisory body to the UK government on foreign investment, made up of private sector global senior leaders from a variety of industries, including technology and infrastructure. The Council will operate alongside the recently formed Office for Investment, tasked with landing high-value investment opportunities in infrastructure, clean technologies and R&D. (more…)