So, who is Matt Hancock?

Posted on Jul 21 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on So, who is Matt Hancock?
Categories : Government, Ofcom, Regulation

We certainly can’t take all the credit, but Ed Vaizey was unceremoniously dumped from his role as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy last Friday evening. His replacement is the MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock.

Representing West Suffolk since 2010, and serving as George Osborne’s chief of staff before that, Mr Hancock isn’t a complete neophyte when it comes to politics. But what of that subject so close to our hearts? Is he likely to be any better at promoting connectivity issues and engaging with the industry than his predecessor?

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An open letter to Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Posted on Jul 12 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on An open letter to Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Categories : Government

Rt Hon Theresa May,

Congratulations on your forthcoming new role as Prime Minister. We’ve not always seen eye-to-eye (what’s an over-intrusive Investigatory Powers Bill between friends?) but, as you reflect on who will be in your Cabinet, we’d urge you to give due consideration to the future Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. The incumbent, Ed Vaizey MP, has – in our opinion – not been effective in this position due to a lack of experience (his own website describes him as being more artsy than technical) and failing to engage adequately with the industry on crucial matters.

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Digital Economy Bill: More empty promises from DCMS

Posted on Jul 07 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Digital Economy Bill: More empty promises from DCMS

The Digital Economy Bill – first outlined by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament –  has now been introduced to Parliament and it has made for some fairly interesting reading. However the concerns that we raised back in May haven’t been assuaged.

“Universal” Service Obligation

Let’s take the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for starters. The Bill Overview Factsheet says:

“What are we going to do?

  • Empower consumers and provide better connectivity so that everyone has access to broadband wherever they live”.
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Update 2 – Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Posted on Jul 05 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Update 2 – Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs?

Yesterday Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Minister for Data Protection, gave a speech at the Privacy Laws & Business 29th International Conference held at St. John’s College in Cambridge outlining the UK Government’s perspective on the EU data protection package.

In essence, she outlined that any country outside of the EU – including the UK – wanting or needing to either share data with EU Member States or handle EU citizens’ data will need to gain an ‘adequacy status’ to do so. This ‘adequacy status’ is essentially an approval from the EU that the applicant country has data protection policies and practices in place that are equal to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to enter into force on the 25th May 2018.

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Poll: How do you feel about the IPB?

Posted on Jul 04 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: How do you feel about the IPB?

We’ve made our feelings on the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) abundantly clear – both in terms of the impact on communications providers who will bear the brunt when it comes to Internet Connection Records (ICRs) and our belief that the Bill contravenes the basic human right to privacy.

As the Bill makes its way through the House of Lords we continue to believe that more could be done to engage with and obtain the views of the communications industry, which is why we’re asking what you think. Let us know what concerns you have – if any – by leaving us a comment below or taking part in our poll.


 

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Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Posted on Jun 29 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Shock, awe, disgust, celebration. Whatever your reaction, nobody ever expected that we’d be left with no leadership and no plan of action. With David Cameron’s resignation, George Osborne and Theresa May keeping a very low profile and Boris Johnson off playing cricket, one may be forgiven for thinking our government has gone AWOL in the wake of last week’s Referendum vote. In any case, there is no firm plan and we’re all left scratching our heads as to what Brexit actually means for our country, our personal lives and the industry that we represent.

Since businesses are keeping the country ticking over while the politicians scrabble around to decide who’s in charge and what needs to be done, we thought we’d seize the opportunity to remind Whitehall what needs to be considered so that the connectivity industry can depart from the EU as painlessly as possible.

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The EU Referendum: What You Think

Posted on Jun 23 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on The EU Referendum: What You Think
Categories : Government

Today’s the day that we head to the polls and cast our votes in the Referendum that will determine the fate of our country. And while we wait with bated breath for tomorrow’s result; the culmination of months of campaigning by both Team Brexit and Team Bremain; it’s clear that no-one really knows which way the vote will go.

We’ve been running our own polls to determine what our Partners think and the results mirror those of national polls which suggest it’s too close to call.

When asked ‘How will you be voting in the Brexit Referendum?’ in synergi (our Partner Portal) with simple answer options of ‘Stay’ or ‘Leave’, a slight majority of 50.5% came out in favour of staying in the EU (103 votes) versus 49.5% or 101 votes for leaving. Yet, when asked the same question on our Opinion site, voting was tied at 25 votes apiece.

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IPB now looks certain to be passed within weeks

Posted on Jun 20 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on IPB now looks certain to be passed within weeks

Back in March, we expressed our dismay about the government’s apparent determination to push through the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB) before the summer (The IPB takes a step closer to being law). The government seems determined to do this at all costs and while there is a possibility that it will be delayed until after the summer recess due to other parliamentary business, it now looks certain to become law within weeks.

Some adjustments have been made to the Bill since March but, in our view, they are too few and do not go anywhere near far enough. At that time, we did have some hope that an alliance of Labour and the SNP would reject the Bill in it’s current form and force much greater scrutiny and the emergence of legislation that would be, as ISPA put it, clear and workable’.

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The Queen’s Speech – connectivity comes front & centre

Posted on May 24 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on The Queen’s Speech – connectivity comes front & centre

The State Opening of Parliament took place last Wednesday, with the Queen setting out the Government’s legislative programme for the coming year to both the Houses of Parliament and Lords. And while the news cycle has been kept busy with coverage of this most traditional of British events, was anything said to interest us comms industry types?

In essence – yes. The announcement of the Digital Economy Bill was enough for those in the communications industry to sit up and pay attention and its aims are worthy of applause. The desire to provide Internet parity across the nation, protect innocents from the seedier side of the Web and taking steps to increase consumer choice and competition are all commendable inclusions – however – it’s the lack of thinking around the ‘detail’ or the reality of implementation which means that the politicos have gone and shot themselves in the foot. Again.

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Poll: How will you be voting in the Brexit Referendum?

Posted on May 04 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: How will you be voting in the Brexit Referendum?
Categories : Government, Polls

The Referendum on whether the UK should remain an EU Member State or not is almost upon us (the country will be voting on the 23rd June, just in case you’d missed it) and while we all know that politicians are divided on this issue, we want to know what you think. Let us know by participating in our poll and/or leaving a comment below.   


 

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