Kat Hall

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Rackspace hit with global outage

Rackspace was hit by a major worldwide outage this morning, which appeared to last for nearly three hours. According to the firm's service status page, engineers became aware of an issue affecting multiple cloud services and ticketing in all regions at 11am GMT. The firm later identified the root cause of the networking …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2017
Hand pulls on a latex rubber glove (disposable). Photo by shutterstock

UK regulator probes PwC over BT's Italian accountancy scandal

The UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is to investigate PwC's audits of BT, following an accountancy scandal at the telecom firm's Italian unit. The accountancy regulator will probe PwC's consolidated financial statements of BT Group for the years ended 31 March 2015 to 2017, in the wake of the scandal which forced a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2017
Rupert Murdoch pictured in 2014. Pic: Shutterstock

Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky takeover referred to competition regulator

The proposed £11.7bn takeover of Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority regulator today. Culture secretary Karen Bradley announced the decision after considering an investigation into the takeover by the media watchdog Ofcom, which found the deal might influence the …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2017
The Shard skyscraper in central London. Pic: Shutterstock

London suffers from 'sub-standard' connectivity - report

The capital has "sub-standard" broadband and 4G speeds, causing it to lag behind smaller UK cities such as York, Coventry and Edinburgh - according to a report (PDF) today by the London Assembly. Poor connectivity is threatening London's success and international competitiveness, as the capital suffers from "not spots" and " …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2017

A minister for GDS? Don't talk digital pony

Comment The appointment of UK digital minister Caroline Nokes yesterday was met with some sniggering when it was revealed she was formerly the chief executive of the National Pony Society. Her posh-girl credentials could not have appeared more obvious if she’d ridden into the Government Digital Service wielding a hockey stick while …
Kat Hall, 28 Jun 2017

Dixons Carphone stirs PC Curry, reports 10% profit gravy

Dixons Carphone reported a bumper year, with profits up 10 per cent to £501m for its preliminary results 2016/17. Revenue in the UK and Ireland rose 2 per cent to £6.5bn, with overall group sales up 9 per cent to £10.5bn. The borg is in the process of closing 134 stores in the UK this year, as part of its 3-in-1 store concept …
Kat Hall, 28 Jun 2017

Former GDS head Mike Bracken quits Co-op

Former head of the Government Digital Service Mike Bracken has quit his job as chief digital officer at Co-op to work on advising governments. In a blog post Bracken wrote: "It’s been a brilliant two years with a fantastic organisation. As I said when I joined, my focus was to create a Co-op fit for the digital age, based on …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017

What? What? Which? Former broadband minister Ed Vaizey dismisses report

The UK's former digital minister Ed Vaizey has dismissed a report published by consumer charity Which? today finding more than 11 places in Blighty still receive broadband speeds of less the 10Mbps. Speaking on the BBC's Today programme, Vaizey said he did "not agree with the premise" of the report. Average speeds were low …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017
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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Google was today hit with a record antitrust fine of €2.42bn (£2.1bn) from the European Union today for promoting its own shopping search service over those of smaller rivals. The regulator found that Google had abused its market dominance as a search engine "by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017
Ambulance

Software glitch led to London Ambulance Service outage – report

A software glitch in the London Ambulance Service’s 999 call handling system, which prevented the system’s recycle bin from being emptied, led to an outage at the New Year – according to an official report. Control room staff were forced to log all emergency calls by pen and paper and pass information to ambulance crews over …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017

Watchdog slaps NHS for failure to tackle correspondence backlog

The National Audit Office has slapped the NHS Shared Business Services for its failure to handle a backlog of misdirected clinical correspondence, which will cost £6.6m to work through. The NHS Shared Business Services is a joint venture between the Department of Health and Sopra Steria set up in 2004 to provide support …
Kat Hall, 27 Jun 2017
Theresa May glass of water photo via Shutterstock

Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

The Democratic Unionist Party is to receive an extra £1bn in funding from Brit taxpayers, including £150m to spend on broadband infrastructure, after it agreed to prop up Theresa May's minority government. The recent UK election resulted in a hung Parliament, meaning the May's Tory Party needed to do a deal to beef up its …
Kat Hall, 26 Jun 2017
Confused/annoyed looking man looks irritated during outage. Photo via Shutterstock

Research suggests UK consumers find 'fibre' advertising misleading

Adverts using the word "fibre" to describe services deployed over copper lines are leaving UK consumers baffled, according to research commissioned by alternative network providers. The research, conducted by market research agency Opinion Leader using focus groups in London, Sheffield and Swansea, found that the majority of …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2017
Image by Dr Flash http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-182053p1.html

Fujitsu loses Dimes amid plans to save dollars

UK and Ireland boss of Fujitsu, Lucy Dimes, has gone on gardening leave just one year into the job, according to multiple well-placed sources. Dimes began her absence at the end of May and has not been seen since. A spokesman from Fujitsu confirmed she is on “a period of extended leave for personal reasons”. However, insiders …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2017

TalkTalk customers complain of being unable to load Amazon website

Certain UK TalkTalk customers have been unable to load Amazon's website since last week. The issue emerged on TalkTalk's community page on Monday. The original poster wrote: "Hi for two days now i have had an issue with amazon not loading on three browsers IE, Chrome and Edge." Other users commented to say they have …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017

Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system

An intriguing, and slightly concerning, job ad has appeared on freelancing website People Per Hour, entitled: "URGENT!!! Delivery of a National e-ID System". The post is from an unidentified small IT consultancy which is submitting a bid to deliver a National e-ID system, including a biometric enrolment for all citizens and …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017
Queen's Speech 2015. Screen grab from Parliament TV

Queen's speech announces laws to protect personal data

The government is to pass new laws to protect personal data and create a commission for countering extremism on the internet, the Queen announced in the annual state opening of Parliament today. Her speech revealed a scaled legislative programme focused on delivering Brexit, with Theresa May's minority government having …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017
man photocopies own head, pic by shutterstock

Gov digitisation plans happening too slowly, say IfG policy wonks. Hear that, GDS?

In what might seem like an exercise stating the blindingly obvious, a report by policy wonks at think tank The Institute for Government has found that gov tech transformation is "happening too slowly" and the online identity platform Verify needs some urgently intervention. The report, Improving the management of digital …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017

BT problems impact Department for Work and Pensions services

Users trying to get through to the Child Maintenance Service have been unable to do so for the past two days because of problems with BT. A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for the agency, said the department has been suffering some difficulties "caused by problems experienced by …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017

Scottish govt mulled scrapping £178m car-crash IT system

The Scottish government has considered scrapping its disastrous £178m rural payments IT system, according to an internal report. Last week, Audit Scotland said the government could face fines of up to £60 million. "To date, the programme has not delivered value for money," it said. The Scottish government's Common …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2017

Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

The UK stands to lose £1bn per day in the event of a major disruption to the Global Positioning System (GPS), according to a government report. Emergency services would also be severely affected and struggle to cope with demand. Longer emergency calls, less efficient dispatch, navigation, and congested roads would mean a total …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2017
European commission photo via Shutterstock

EU regulators gearing up to slap Google with €1bn fine – reports

The EU is preparing to fine Google €1bn (£875m) over claims the company abused its search market dominance to build the Google Shopping service. According to The Financial Times, EU officials are expected to make their ruling in the coming weeks – the first decision of three antitrust probes against Google. Both the European …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2017
Slough and London on a map

Oh the irony: Government Digital Services can't pay staff because of tech problems

Exclusive The UK's Government Digital Service – the Whitehall body responsible for transforming government IT – is having problems paying staff because of, er, technical issues. In an internal email sent within GDS, and seen by The Register, the body said: "We are aware of a number of pay related issues currently within GDS." Last …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2017

Ofcom fines Three £1.9m over vulnerability in emergency call handling

Brit mobile operator Three has been fined £1.9m after an investigation by UK regulator Ofcom revealed its emergency call service handling was vulnerable to a single point of failure. Ofcom identified the vulnerability when investigating a separate fibre break outage on Three's network in October 2016, which resulted in a …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2017

Openreach to comms providers: Why can't we be friends?

The new, reformed UK network backbone Openreach wants to "get much closer" to its communications providers and hopes to make a business case for a "very sizeable" full-fibre footprint together, says chief exec Clive Selley. Speaking at the Total Telecoms Connected Britain event in London, Selley was eager to come across as …
Kat Hall, 15 Jun 2017

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