With the end of the year fast approaching we are keen to find out what you think the biggest trends of 2016 will be. Therefore, we have added a new poll to gather your feedback.
Will it be another booming year for Ethernet or will hosted voice be the big opportunity next year? Will IoT pick up speed or will the industry focus on ‘ultrafast’ broadband? Perhaps there will be a surge in interest for IP VPNs or cloud services?
Please take a moment to participate in our poll and let us know your opinions.
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Following promises in the 2015 Budget back in March, the Government has finally confirmed plans to introduce a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) for all broadband services across the UK by 2020. With the Government already under pressure to complete the superfast broadband rollout to the final 5% of the UK’s most hard to reach communities, we ask will this latest USO help to achieve that goal or cause further issues?
Commenting on the plans Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Access to the Internet shouldn’t be a luxury; it should be a right – absolutely fundamental to life in 21st century Britain. That is why I’m announcing a giant leap in my digital mission for Britain. Just as our forebears effectively brought gas, electricity and water to all, we’re going to bring fast broadband to every home and business that wants it. That’s right: we’re getting Britain – all of Britain – online, and on the way to becoming the most prosperous economy in the whole of Europe.”
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Labour tried it with the IMP (Interception Modernisation Programme), then the coalition Government tried it with CCDP (Communications Capabilities Development Programme). When that failed they morphed it into the Communications Data Bill which also failed, so then the new Tory Government hastily introduced DRIP (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill) but that has a sunset clause of December 2016. It’s not surprising then that last week yet another new draft Bill was announced – this time it’s called the Investigatory Powers Bill. So what will this latest iteration which has already been widely nicknamed the ‘Snooper’s Charter 3.0’ have in store for us?
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Last week the EU rejected further amendments to strengthen the new laws that will essentially protect the concept of net neutrality. Critics argue this leaves the legislation weak and means the Internet could still be susceptible to becoming ‘two tiered’ or having ‘fast lanes’.
The amendments were attempting to restrict ‘overly broad language’ which critics argued ISPs could interpret to allow ‘fast lanes’ and ‘two tiered’ approaches to ensure a certain level of quality for premium services such as IPTV, but they were rejected by a huge majority in the vote. Instead the EU argues that this will be managed by regulators, although at this stage no further details were provided regarding potential punishments for contradiction of the rules.
This is a concern we raised in our recent article “Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?” and it’s disappointing at this stage to see the EU didn’t go further to protect net neutrality when given the chance. However, looking on the positive side, this is the first time net neutrality has ever been afforded any form of legal protection, so at least it’s a start! If the regulator approach doesn’t work as effectively as they hope, let’s hope the process will be adequately reviewed and updated as necessary. We will have to wait and see.
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VoIP is a very flexible telecoms solution and one of its particularly useful features is the fact that it can be diverted easily to any address or connected to from various locations. Whilst this provides users with fantastic flexibility, enabling comprehensive disaster recovery strategies and ensuring remote workers can connect easily – it poses a real problem for the emergency services.
The dynamic nature of the service means that unlike 999 calls from standard landlines (PSTN or ISDN)‚ calls from VoIP numbers don’t result in the true physical location of the caller appearing automatically on the operator’s screen. Since the VoIP service is delivered via IP‚ the caller is not necessarily restricted by a fixed location and this poses a challenge for the emergency services’ operations.
That is why it is essential to ensure your customers provide and keep location information for their VoIP users up to date. This information is then provided to the emergency services in compliance with Ofcom’s General Condition 4 and ensures the data provided to them is accurate. It could mean the difference between life and death!
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