CMA launches Vodafone-Three merger investigation

The UK's competition regulator has opened an in-depth investigation into Vodafone's proposed merger with rival mobile network Three over concerns the deal could lead to higher bills for consumers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will assess whether combining two of the country's biggest telecom providers will negatively impact competition and choice in the market.

Concerns about the merger have been raised by Unite the Union. The union estimates that...

BT updates price hike policy ahead of new regulations

BT is overhauling its policy on mid-contract price hikes ahead of strict new regulations being imposed by the UK's communications regulator Ofcom. The company said it will stop linking price rises to inflation and instead specify clearly in monetary terms what increases customers can expect. 

The move comes after Ofcom found last year that the way telecoms companies raise prices lacks transparency and can be confusing for consumers. Under BT's current model, tariffs are adjusted...

BT misses Huawei equipment ban deadline

The deadline set by the UK government for telecoms operators to remove Huawei equipment from their core networks has elapsed, with BT falling a bit short.

In November 2022, the government issued formal legal notices to telecoms operators – including BT – outlining their obligations to eliminate Huawei kit due to security concerns. 

The initial deadline of 28 January 2023 was later extended to 31 December 2023 as several operators expressed difficulties in...

CISA urges manufacturers to end default passwords

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has urged manufacturers to end default passwords on internet-exposed systems due to the severe risks posed by malicious actors.

In a recent alert, CISA highlighted the exploitation of operational technology devices by Iranian threat actors affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who used default passwords to gain access to critical infrastructure systems in the US.

“IRGC-affiliated...

Over 330K premises benefit from UK connectivity fund in 2023

The UK has invested over half a billion pounds this year to boost connectivity for more than 330,000 premises. The announcement comes alongside a £33 million investment to connect more than 17,000 homes and businesses in rural Derbyshire to high-speed broadband.

This announcement for Derbyshire follows earlier contracts awarded in Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, New Forest, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampshire, North East Staffordshire, and Oxfordshire—bringing total investment to over...

FCC rejects Starlink’s bid for $886M in subsidies

The FCC has denied Elon Musk's Starlink a hefty $886 million subsidy from the Universal Service Fund, allocated for expanding broadband services in rural areas.

The rejected bid, originally intended for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program, faced criticism as the FCC deemed Starlink incapable of proving its ability to deliver the promised broadband service.

This decision echoes a similar move by the FCC last year, prompting an appeal from SpaceX, Musk's...

Ofcom plans to improve mid-contract price rise transparency

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced plans to improve transparency around mid-contract prices.

The regulatory body has expressed concerns about the prevalent practice of mid-contract price rises – often linked to unpredictable inflation – adopted by major phone, broadband, and pay TV companies. In response, Ofcom is suggesting tougher protections for consumers by considering a ban on this practice.

Confusing price rise terms

Ofcom argues that unclear terms...

UK accuses Russia of sustained hacking campaign

The UK Government has accused Russia's Security Service, the FSB, of orchestrating a sustained cyber-hacking campaign targeted at politicians and public figures.

The group – identified as FSB Centre 18 – is alleged to have stolen and disseminated sensitive data through cyber-attacks, including materials related to the 2019 election.

Despite Russia's persistent denials, Foreign Secretary David Cameron condemned the group's actions as "completely...

UK invests £36M in pioneering ‘5G Innovation Regions’

Ten multi-local authority areas spanning the entire UK will benefit from £36 million in funding, becoming designated 5G Innovation Regions (5GIRs). The initiative aims to drive the development and adoption of 5G and other cutting-edge wireless technologies, ushering in a new era of connectivity for towns, cities, and rural areas.

Among the winners is Glasgow City Region, which will receive over £3 million to implement a healthcare-focused project using 5G and other technologies...

NCSC warns UK’s critical infrastructure is too vulnerable

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has raised the alarm about escalating threats to the nation's Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) and warned that resilience is not at the required level.

"The threat is evolving. While we are making progress building resilience in our most critical sectors, we aren't where we need to be," states a NCSC report this week.

Dominic Trott, Director of Strategy and Alliances at Orange Cyberdefense, commented on the pressing...