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Category Archives: National IT News

Free wifi on trains from 2017?

At Prime Minister’s questions today, David Cameron (he’s a prime minister impersonator, isn’t he? Ed. 😉 ) informed MPs that the ability to access wifi was vital for rail travellers and promised investment of £50mn. to provide more wifi on the railway from 2017, today’s Western Daily Press reports. The investment in wifi the PM […]

‘Superfast’ broadband arrives in parts of Staffordshire

Today’s Stoke Sentinel reports that faster internet speeds can be expected today in parts of Staffordshire. However, the Sentinel’s piece does not mention any expected connection speeds. 🙁 The localities concerned are parts of Kidsgrove, Werrington, Stone and Blackshaw Moor, which have been connected to the fibre network following a link-up between Staffordshire County Council […]

City Council and Bristol Uni to develop high-performance, high-speed network

The first joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol has been announced (press release). In a move to combine University research and advanced technology with council owned infrastructure, the company will develop an innovative high-performance, high-speed network in Bristol. The company, known as Bristol Is Open, will be established by the […]

Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future – pure fantasy?

In December 2010, 7 months after it assumed power, the UK’s coalition government issued a document (PDF) entitled Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future. In that document’s introduction, the then Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt and Minister for Culture Communications & the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey stated: Broadband is one of our top priorities. We took office earlier […]

Ofcom to give boost to rural and mobile broadband

Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph reports that Ofcom is to make more frequencies available for mobile broadband. This will result in faster and cheaper mobile data services and will benefit those in rural areas in particular. The 700 MHz frequency band that is currently used by digital terrestrial TV services and wireless microphones will be opened up […]

vCard and iCalendar are now UK government open standards

Whilst the present government’s record may be regarded by some as controversial, to say the least, there’s one area where some real progress has been made; and that’s the adoption of open standards by central government. In July this year, there was the adoption of Open Document Format (ODF), PDF and PDF/A and HTML (news […]

Poor take-up prompts revamp of broadband voucher scheme

The current hard copy of Networking magazine (to which Bristol Wireless subscribes. Ed.) reports on its front page that on account of poor take-up of the broadband connection voucher scheme (of which we’re part. Ed.), the government is revamping its offer of £3,000 to get businesses on high-speed broadband connections in 22 cities. Apparently fewer […]

Campaigners cut ties with Connecting Shropshire

The taxpayer-subsidised scheme to provide better broadband in the United Kingdom has run into some difficulty in Shropshire. The Shropshire and Marches Campaign for Better Rural Broadband has severed its ties with the Connecting Shropshire scheme led by Shropshire Council, according to yesterday’s Shropshire Star. The campaign had been working with the council and BT […]

“We have to go into Bristol to use the internet”

Residents and businesses in rural parts of South Gloucestershire are campaigning for high-speed broadband to be installed in their areas, according to today’s Bristol Post. The villages of Horton and Elberton seem to be particularly badly affected by poor connection speeds and a public meeting is being organised tomorrow at Horton Village Hall which will […]

Bristol 24/7 on broadband connection vouchers

Local news site Bristol 24/7 carried a post today on the Super Connected Cities’ broadband connection vouchers scheme. The scheme covers 22 UK towns and cities, including Bristol Under the scheme, companies, sole traders and charities can apply for up £3,000 to gain access to high speed broadband. However, author Rob Buckland omitted one small […]

Aztec West is home to world’s first cyber crime fighting training centre

Today the Bristol Post reports that the world’s first cyber crime fighting training centre has opened with the aim to help businesses, government agencies and even police forces keep ahead of this allegedly growing threat. The £5 mn. centre, at Aztec West on the outskirts of the city in South Gloucestershire, was officially opened by […]

Quantum computing comes a step closer

A new way to run a quantum algorithm using much simpler methods than previously thought has been discovered by a team of researchers at the University of Bristol, according to a university press release. These findings could dramatically bring forward the development of a ‘quantum computer’ capable of beating a conventional computer. Theories show how […]

Bristol’s Bitcoin machine handles £38K per month

The Bristol Post is not renowned locally for its in-depth coverage of technology, let alone such exotic areas as crytocurrencies, but today proved an exception as it reported on the fortunes of Bristol’s only Bitcoin cash machine, which is located in Superfoods in St Stephen’s Street (review here) in the centre. SatoshiPoint, the machine’s owners […]

3 Bristol youngsters beat national competition

A Bristol University press release from the end of last week reports that 3 young people from Bristol overcame competition from across the country and have been recognised at the Young Rewired State Festival of Code 2014. Chris Chapman and brothers Rhys and Owen Marsh won the ‘Code a Better Country’ category at the event […]

More criticism of ‘superfast’ broadband scheme

Close on the heels of complaints of poor connectivity in London’s Silicon Roundabout area (news passim) and the roll-out of ‘superfast’ broadband in Wiltshire being described as a ‘scam‘ (news passim), comes more criticism of the UK’s lousy connectivity from closer to home – Thornbury and Yate, the parliamentary constituency of Liberal Democrat MP Steve […]

Congratulations from FSF to UK government

Writing yesterday on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) blog, Libby Reinish states that UK citizens will soon be able to fill out government paperwork with their freedoms intact. The British government announced last week (news passim) that Open Document Format (ODF), HTML and PDF will be the official file formats used by all government agencies. […]

UK government adopts open standards

Great news for all lovers of open standards! It’s goodbye to the ubiquitous use of MS Office formats in Whitehall; and what’s more, the government has decided not to sanction the use of Microsoft’s OOXML ‘standard’ despite lobbying by the US software giant and its supporters. The open standards selected for sharing and viewing government […]

Companies House takes open data route

Yesterday, while David Cameron was rearranging his Cabinet, one significant piece of news (apart from the DRIP Bill. Ed.) seems to have escaped the personality-obsessed British media. The news was the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced that Companies House is to make all of its digital data available free of charge. It has […]

EU Commission: we support vendor lock-in

The European Commission has recently renewed its commitment to a proprietary desktop and secret file formats, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) writes. The Commission is refusing to make a serious effort to break free from vendor lock-in and is ignoring all available alternatives. In doing so, the EU’s civil service fails to practice what […]