Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager
We were alarmed by the news that broke late last week that the British Government has admitted its intelligence services have the power to and historically have hacked into the personal equipment (phones, computers, networks) of anyone anywhere in the world, even where the ‘target’ is not a threat to national security or suspected of a crime. This has raised obvious concerns amongst privacy advocates and indeed the general public regarding the immense scope of the surveillance powers these organisations have.
This information was discovered within a Government court document published by Privacy International and the admissions were made in response to two court cases filed against GCHQ last year following the Edward Snowden revelations.
A press release from Privacy International states:
“Buried deep within the document, Government lawyers claim that while the intelligence services require authorisation to hack into the computer and mobile phones of “intelligence targets”, GCHQ is equally permitted to break into computers anywhere in the world even if they are not connected to a crime or a threat to national security.”
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It’s that time of year again – Budget time and as this one comes before a General Election it’s unsurprisingly packed full of promises and big ideas.
Here’s a quick summary on what it has in store for our channel:
1. Ultra-fast broadband
First they promised (and delivered) superfast broadband (mainly achieved using Openreach’s fibre broadband roll-out) and now it’s all about a new ‘ambition’ to provide ‘nearly all UK premises’ with at least 100Mbps ‘ultrafast’ broadband.
From what we can tell they haven’t quantified that statement as yet but to be fair, most of the hard work to achieve this has already been done or has been committed to by the industry. For example, Virgin Media recently announced expanding their network to reach 17 million premises by 2020 (60% coverage) and BT have recently been discussing G.fast which would also help to achieve this target.
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Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
For most of us, broadband has become essential to our day-to-day working and home lives with the vast array of ways in which we use our connection continuing to increase and bandwidth demands booming. So, is it time broadband was officially recognised as a utility, like gas, water and electricity?
The recent Digital Skills Committee report commissioned by the House of Lords suggests that broadband is now as essential as our other utilities and that designating broadband as a ‘utility’ could help to solve the issue of ‘not-spots’ in the UK and ensure a future-proof connectivity infrastructure. The Government is already working with providers to rollout superfast broadband to 95% of the country by 2017. But what about that final 5% – would broadband being classed as a utility really help to solve this?
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Over recent years we have seen a considerable increase in demand for SIP based communications solutions from traditionally ISDN and PBX based resellers. So, why are more and more resellers moving into the provision of IP based telecoms? Here are 5 good reasons:
#1 Business Continuity
The flexible and virtual nature of SIP trunks makes them ideal for disaster recovery strategies. Incoming calls can be easily and almost immediately transferred to an alternative number such as a mobile or to alternative premises, providing complete business continuity in the event of a problem.
Entanet customers can even specify an alternative location as an auto failover solution by providing a DNS SRV record to send calls to. SRV is a type of Domain Name System record – it allows you to specify where traffic goes based on a combination of priority and availability. It is similar in functionality to Mail Exchange (MX) records for email.
With traditional solutions such as an ISDN this is not as easy as the ISDN is installed to a physical location and the affected company would be likely to incur significant downtime and additional costs for rerouting the calls.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) – that’s just connected cars, smart thermostats and self-replenishing fridges isn’t it? Well, no actually. The seemingly endless possibilities presented by IoT could significantly improve efficiency, reduce costs, improve customers’ experiences and potentially even save lives – not to mention generate an abundance of new opportunities for our very own channel.
What is IoT?
First things first, let’s explain what we’re talking about here. The Internet of Things is when everyday objects (such as cars and thermostats) are connected to the Internet and ‘talk’ to each other and to other systems to enhance the consumer/user’s experience and automate relatively basic actions.
For example, most of us have heard of smart thermostats by now (e.g. Nest and Hive). A thermostat that can be controlled either by your mobile, tablet or PC or can detect and automatically utilise data it receives from your home environment. In some situations it can even learn your behaviour to turn on and off at appropriate times, set the most comfortable temperature throughout your home and help you to reduce or at least monitor your energy consumption.
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