Industry News

Industry News

 

Paul Dacre withdraws from race to become new Ofcom chairman

Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has withdrawn from the race to become chairman of regulator Ofcom.

In a letter to The Times newspaper, Dacre said he had decided not to reapply for the position and launched a scathing attack on civil servants. Dacre accused the left-wing media of engaging in "ill-informed, increasingly hysterical speculation", and warned that the civil service (which he described disparagingly as "the Blob") would block anyone without liberal-left convictions from taking up a senior public appointment. He said he was now taking up a new post in the private sector. 

Altnets plan legal action against Openreach full-fibre price offer

BT's broadband network rivals plan to launch legal action against a decision by regulator Ofcom to approve Openreach's Equinox pricing plan, which offers a discount to wholesale customers who piggyback on FTTP network, reports The Sunday Times.

The deadline to challenge Ofcom's decision through the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) expires at end-November. Alternative network operators (altnets), such as CityFibre, are concerned about being undercut by Openreach, and warn that BT could just increase prices at a later date when it has no or little competition from rivals.

CityFibre is expected to lead any legal challenge, with CEO Greg Mesch telling the newspaper that it was "considering appropriate next steps". Gigaclear CEO Gareth Williams said his company would join any legal action, warning that Openreach was attempting to "shut down infrastructure competition". Virgin Media O2 said it was keeping all options on the table. 

Major security flaw discovered in Sky broadband routers

Sky took almost 18 months to fix a software bug with around 6 million routers in the UK, according to security company Pen Test Partners.

The researchers said the vulnerability could have impacted Sky broadband customers who had not changed the default admin password on their router, potentially allowing hackers to control their home networks.

Pen Test Partners first made Sky aware of the vulnerability in May 2020, but it took Sky until October 2021 to update 99 percent of routers, 17 months and 11 days after initial disclosure. In August 2021, the security company asked the BBC to contact Sky to try and force them to accelerate the updates. It decided not to publish the vulnerability to push Sky into faster patching as it would have left millions of Sky customers exposed.

A Sky spokesperson told the BBC that it takes the "safety and security of customers very seriously", adding that an update on such a large scale took time. The spokesperson confirmed that a fix had now been delivered to all Sky-manufactured routers. 

 

Samsung launches Black Friday offers for UK customers

Samsung has launched a series of Black Friday deals in the UK, available online at Samsung.com, including deals on smartphones, smartwatches and laptops. Students can get an extra 25 percent off sitewide on Black Friday. 

The main Black Friday event runs for two weeks from 17 November, with Samsung offering a price promise to any customer finding the same product purchase cheaper online at selected retailers, by giving them the price difference.

Customers can save GBP 150 on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3, down from GBP 949 to GBP 799; and GBP 180 on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, down from GBP 769 to GBP 589. They can also save GBP 75 on the Galaxy Watch4 Classic, down to GBP 334 from GBP 409; and GBP 200 on the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 13-in 365 5G laptop, down from GBP 1,119 to GBP 919. 

 

Fibrus launches full-fibre broadband network in Ballynahinch

Fibrus, Belfast-based fibre broadband provider, has rolled out services in Ballynahinch and the surrounding area.

The roll-out is part of Fibrus' campaign to improve rural broadband connectivity, supported by the Ulster Farmer's Union. Fibrus is an 'Affinity Partner' of the organisation, with UFU members receiving support and special rates for broadband connections through the new Fibrus full-fibre network. 

Virgin Mobile launches Red Friday deals for customers in Ireland

Virgin Media Ireland has announced a series of Virgin Mobile Red Friday deals for new and existing customers. 

Customers buying the Samsung Galaxy S21 (128GB) for free upfront at EUR 45 per month for 12 months (EUR 60 thereafter) can get a free pair of JLab Epic Air Sport Active noise cancelling earbuds worth EUR 119. Virgin Mobile is also offering new customers unlimited mobile for EUR 10 per month for 12 months (EUR 25 thereafter). 

CityFibre launches new National Access Product for wholesale partners

CityFibre, UK wholesale full-fibre infrastructure operator, has launched a new National Access product to make it easier and faster for wholesale partners to launch full-fibre broadband services across its UK-wide network footprint. 

The launch of the new product is supported by an over GBP 65 million investment by CityFibre over the next seven years to interconnect its local access networks onto a multi-terabit nationwide backbone. There will be interconnection points at strategic locations across the UK, allowing partners to market, sell and provide FTTP services to any premises on CityFibre's networks. 

Over 14,000 parents visit new EE PhoneSmart website since launch

BT has seen more than 14,000 parents visit the new EE PhoneSmart website since its launch in October.

PhoneSmart is an online course to educate children aged 10-13 year old, and their parents, getting their first smartphone on how to behave well online. The PhoneSmart campaign video has been viewed more than 1.9 million times. Developed in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, PhoneSmart uses real-life stories, activities and interactive quizzes to teach young children how to deal with online issues such as hate speech, fake news and cyber bullying. 

Wessex Internet starts connecting first customers in Blandford

UK regional ISP Wessex Internet has started building its new full-fibre network in the Dorset town of Blandford to deliver uultrafast broadband to over 6,000 homes and businesses. 

It has completed the first phase of construction along the Trailway, with customers now being connected around Sunrise Business Park and in Blandford Heights. Work has now started on the second construction phase to connect residential premises, with the first customers to be connected soon in the Milldown area. 

Vodafone Portugal launches cybersecurity portfolio

Vodafone Portugal’s business unit launched a new portfolio of services to help companies identify and respond to risk scenarios originating from cyber-attacks. The solutions fall under four pillars -Identify, Protect, Detect and Respond- and include Vulnerability Studies, Cyber Exposure Diagnostics and Penetration Testing; Phishing Awareness; Threat identification and response processes; and Breach response and expertise.

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