CityFibre’s full-fibre to deliver over £40B of direct economic benefits

New research suggests that economic benefits worth over £40 billion will be reaped by CityFibre’s full-fibre rollout.

The research – conducted by consultancy firm Hatch – covers a 15-year period and examines the rollout across 285 cities, towns, and villages in England and Scotland.

Boosts to productivity and innovation account for £22 billion of the economic benefits; with poor connectivity no longer posing a barrier.

As more people transition to...

James Bushby, Mastercard: How Request to Pay can transform bill payments

Mastercard Request to Pay

In 2020, the UK’s national retail payments operator, Pay.UK, created Request to Pay - a new framework to enable a more flexible, secure and customer-focused way for bills to be settled between people, organisations and businesses.

The aim of Request to Pay is to provide billers, like telecoms providers, with a messaging service that integrates into an existing payments infrastructure. Rather than sending an invoice via email or post, billers can message their customer through...

UK Government asks ISPs to promote social tariffs amid cost of living crisis

The UK Government is asking the country’s ISPs to promote social tariffs amid the cost of living crisis.

Low-cost social tariffs are offered to households receiving certain benefits to help close the “digital divide” and ensure that everyone has access to the work and social opportunities that connectivity brings.

However, data from British telecoms regulator Ofcom suggests that under two percent of eligible people are taking up social tariffs—meaning they’re...

Viasat’s satellites in Europe were taken offline by Kremlin-associated malware

A satellite broadband outage impacting thousands of customers in Ukraine and across Europe was the result of malware linked to the Russian government.

The outage occurred on 24 February 2022. That date has sadly gone down in history as the day Russia decided to launch its invasion of Ukraine—causing tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, displacing around 6.5 million people within the country, and leading to an estimated 4.1 million refugees.

Given the timing, the...

Telecoms union pressures BT for inflation-countering pay rises

Britain’s largest telecoms union is rejecting BT’s flat pay rise offer of £1200, which would leave employees worse off this year.

UK inflation is rising at its fastest rate for 30 years as fuel, energy, food, and other costs increase. The Bank of England expects inflation to reach around eight percent over spring and “it could go even higher later this year”.

Many employers are increasing employees’ salaries more than originally planned to help with the...

FCC announces winners of $313m from Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The FCC has announced the latest winning bidders of a $313 million pot from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund aims to fund new broadband deployments in areas across the US with limited or no connectivity.

Now in its eighth round, the fund has provided over $5 billion in funding to date for new deployments across 47 states—bringing broadband to over 2.8 million locations.

The winning bidders from the latest round...

OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches after Roscosmos snub

OneWeb is turning to rival SpaceX to launch its LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites after Russian space agency Roscosmos snubbed the British firm.

A rocket carrying 36 of OneWeb’s satellites was due to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome earlier this month.

In the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Roscosmos refused to launch the satellites unless OneWeb accepted two demands—for the British government to sell its stake in the firm, and to guarantee they will not...

CityFibre attracts over £1.4B in ‘largest-ever’ raise for UK full-fibre

CityFibre has attracted over £1.4 billion in the “largest-ever capital raise” for a UK full-fibre deployment.

The milestone was reached following a further equity commitment of £300m from its existing shareholder, Mubadala Investment Company.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre, said:

“Mubadala’s confidence in our business is testament to our growing momentum and progress.

The need and appetite for carrier-neutral wholesale network...

Ookla finds Starlink now averages over 100 Mbps

Research from Ookla finds that Starlink now averages over 100 Mbps in 15 countries.

The results, from Q4 2021, suggests that SpaceX’s satellite system continues to beat median fixed broadband speeds in most locations:

StarlinkFixed BroadbandAustralia141.5551.35Austria131.8450.33Belgium155.1576.94Canada106.6496.39Chile118.95168.92France102.1575.47Germany115.5865.86Ireland123.5165.89Italy124.3949.56Mexico141.9436.56Netherlands138.4095.55New...

Internet backbone provider Lumen joins exodus of Russia

Lumen, a major internet backbone provider, has announced that it will be joining the exodus of Russia.

Russia has found itself increasingly isolated on the world stage after its decision to illegally invade Ukraine—including carrying out heinous acts that are now being investigated as likely war crimes.

The pariah state has already been cut off from global payment systems. Meanwhile, a growing number of companies have taken independent decisions to halt or limit...