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10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media
Saturday, 15 May 2021 00:27

HTTP/2 200 date: Sun, 16 May 2021 02:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sun, 16 May 2021 02:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a147ffe6200002b0e121e2000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 650102aa3cd72b0e-SYD 10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media • The Register

That's 37% of the country covered, and BT is expected to pick up the pace too


A new Ofcom report shows the number of UK homes with access to gigabit-capable broadband hit 10.8 million in January, representing 37 per cent of households.

The figures were part of Ofcom's Interim Connected Nations report [PDF] and covered September 2020 to January 2021.

Overall, the number of gigabit-capable lines increased by 37 per cent against August's figure [PDF] of 7.9 million.

Ofcom claimed this growth was largely driven by Virgin Media's rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 tech to 2.8 million premises. Virgin Media has pursued an expansion strategy, dubbed Project Lightning, resulting in 2.6 million new premises added to its footprint since 2015.

The company has also sought to upgrade existing customers, shifting its entire footprint in Northern Ireland and London to DOCSIS 3.1 during the second half of last year.

Full-fibre coverage hit 6 million homes, or 21 per cent of the country. This represents an increase of 0.9 million against August's numbers of 5.1 million, and was driven primarily by larger providers like Openreach, with smaller vendors like Community Fibre also playing an important role.

The cumulative figure of new full-fibre and DOCSIS 3.1 installs is significantly higher than the number of newly gigabit-capable homes, suggesting a significant degree of overlap, with many premises able to access services via both technologies.

Full-fibre will likely catch up in the coming years, given the promise of BT Group CEO Phillip Jensen to "build like fury" following the publication of Ofcom's most recent Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review.

This rulebook has eliminated virtually all price caps on full-fibre products during the rollout, allowing infrastructure providers to recoup their initial investment costs in a shorter time frame.

It also helps that, for the next two years, Openreach will pay virtually no corporation tax thanks to the introduction of a new "super deduction".

Conceived as a way to boost business investment in the wake of the pandemic, this tax break allows firms to write off up to 130 per cent of their capital cost between the 2021 and 2023 tax years.

Earlier this week, BT Group said it would increase its full-fibre build pace from 3 million to 4 million premises, and aims to wire up 25 million premises by the end of 2026. ®


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"On May 15, our country’s first Mars exploration mission, Tianwen-1, landed in a pre-selected landing zone in the southern Utopia Planitia of Mars, leaving a Chinese footprint on Mars for the first time. It marks an important step in our country’s interstellar exploration journey," Xinhua reported at 0837 in Beijing (1737 PT, 0037 UTC).

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AMD disclosed the existence of the deal in an 8-K regulatory filing submitted to the SEC earlier this week. The company has committed to buy $1.6bn worth of 12nm and 14nm node silicon wafers between now and December 31, 2024. It did not disclose a breakdown of the costs nor the exact quantity of output it had secured.

Should AMD fail to meet its purchase obligation, it has committed to pay GlobalFoundries a portion of the difference between its planned and actual spend. AMD has also agreed to pre-pay for an unspecified portion of these wafers in advance.

Continue readingAudacity's new management hits rewind on telemetry plans following community outrage Sorry for trying to add it or sorry for cocking up the comms?

Amid the smell of burning rubber, the new managers of open-source audio editor Audacity have announced a U-turn on plans to introduce "basic telemetry" into the product.

Audacity pitched up under the umbrella of Muse Group earlier this month and professed itself to be both "scared and excited."

Mere days later, an impressive number of users went for the former option and expressed alarm at a GitHub request introducing "basic telemetry."

Continue readingApple's expert witness grilled by Epic over 'frictionless' spending outside the app How easy would it be for customers to depart the walled garden, legal eagles ask economist

Epic Games' lawyers had a chance to put Apple's expert witness through the wringer in the latest from its California bench trial.

Counsel for Apple called to the stand Lorin Hitt, an academic from the prestigious Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania.

Hitt – who had been selected as expert witness for Apple – questioned whether iOS was as effective at locking in users as previously claimed, citing a 26 per cent switch rate. He also debated whether users remained loyal to a platform because of switching costs, or because they simply like it.

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Facebook has failed to neutralise an order from Britain's competition regulator freezing its buyout of Giphy after having "sat on its hands" and failed to answer questions, the Court of Appeal has found.

Judge Sir Geoffrey Vos said "the central problem in this case was entirely of Facebook's own making" as he dismissed its attempt to overturn an Initial Enforcement Order (IEO) made by Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year.

That IEO blocked the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social network from finishing off its $400m buyout of Giphy, a supplier of web tracking beacons cunningly disguised as funny little animated images used to spice up online chats and comment sections.

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That means, for example, if you browse the web using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome for some websites, and use the Tor browser to anonymously view others, there is a possibility someone could link your browser histories across all those sessions using a unique identifier, potentially deanonymize you, and track you around the web.

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The country's Health Service Executive closed its systems down as a precaution, local reports from the Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ said, reporting that Dublin's Rotunda Hospital had cancelled appointments for outpatients – including many for pregnant women.

"The maternity hospital said all outpatient visits are cancelled - unless expectant mothers are 36 weeks pregnant or later," reported RTÉ, adding: "All gynaecology clinics are also cancelled today."

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Among its marketing hype, though, is the, erm, novel approach of launching a hip-hop album of beats and screeching otters. More of that later.

Originating from a project at Carnegie Mellon Database Group, OtterTune is based on the idea you can use machine learning to identify the optimal setting for database parameter knobs, a task well beyond most developers and something even seasoned DBAs struggle with, given the number of databases on the market that they might be required to manage.

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Dyke, who has previously appeared in this organ, in March said he received letters from lawyers representing the Apperta Foundation after he told the business he had found a public repo containing the source code for an insecure online portal and its database containing usernames, hashed passwords, email addresses, and API keys.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Sun, 16 May 2021 02:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/cb9830fbd80ddb1e6d62c453a27221c77f4e34c8/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sun, 16 May 2021 02:00:05 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy01us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a147ffe6200002b0e121e2000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 650102aa3cd72b0e-SYD 10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media • The Register

That's 37% of the country covered, and BT is expected to pick up the pace too


A new Ofcom report shows the number of UK homes with access to gigabit-capable broadband hit 10.8 million in January, representing 37 per cent of households.

The figures were part of Ofcom's Interim Connected Nations report [PDF] and covered September 2020 to January 2021.

Overall, the number of gigabit-capable lines increased by 37 per cent against August's figure [PDF] of 7.9 million.

Ofcom claimed this growth was largely driven by Virgin Media's rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 tech to 2.8 million premises. Virgin Media has pursued an expansion strategy, dubbed Project Lightning, resulting in 2.6 million new premises added to its footprint since 2015.

The company has also sought to upgrade existing customers, shifting its entire footprint in Northern Ireland and London to DOCSIS 3.1 during the second half of last year.

Full-fibre coverage hit 6 million homes, or 21 per cent of the country. This represents an increase of 0.9 million against August's numbers of 5.1 million, and was driven primarily by larger providers like Openreach, with smaller vendors like Community Fibre also playing an important role.

The cumulative figure of new full-fibre and DOCSIS 3.1 installs is significantly higher than the number of newly gigabit-capable homes, suggesting a significant degree of overlap, with many premises able to access services via both technologies.

Full-fibre will likely catch up in the coming years, given the promise of BT Group CEO Phillip Jensen to "build like fury" following the publication of Ofcom's most recent Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review.

This rulebook has eliminated virtually all price caps on full-fibre products during the rollout, allowing infrastructure providers to recoup their initial investment costs in a shorter time frame.

It also helps that, for the next two years, Openreach will pay virtually no corporation tax thanks to the introduction of a new "super deduction".

Conceived as a way to boost business investment in the wake of the pandemic, this tax break allows firms to write off up to 130 per cent of their capital cost between the 2021 and 2023 tax years.

Earlier this week, BT Group said it would increase its full-fibre build pace from 3 million to 4 million premises, and aims to wire up 25 million premises by the end of 2026. ®


Other stories you might like

Updated China's Zhurong rover today touched down on Mars from the Tianwen-1 orbiter, the nation's state media says.

We're told the machine will take carry out self-tests, and try to move itself to explore the Red Planet's surface.

"On May 15, our country’s first Mars exploration mission, Tianwen-1, landed in a pre-selected landing zone in the southern Utopia Planitia of Mars, leaving a Chinese footprint on Mars for the first time. It marks an important step in our country’s interstellar exploration journey," Xinhua reported at 0837 in Beijing (1737 PT, 0037 UTC).

Continue readingGoogle leads Big Tech effort to ensure H-1B spouses can continue working in America Coalition of 41 organizations oppose labor rule challenge

Google is spearheading an effort to save a visa rule that allows the spouses of H-1B visa holders awaiting green cards to work in the US.

On Friday, Google and 40 other companies and organizations filed an amicus brief supporting the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) H-4 employment authorization document (H-4 EAD) program, which faces a legal challenge by a group called Save Jobs USA.

Save Jobs USA, an association representing Southern California Edison workers who claim they lost their jobs to H-1B visa holders, is suing DHS in a Washington, DC court to undo the rule.

Continue readingAMD promises to spend $1.6bn on 12nm, 14nm chips from GlobalFoundries Also wriggles out of exclusivity deal

Amid fears the global semiconductor crisis may last until 2023, AMD has opted to extend its purchase agreement with GlobalFoundries, giving it access to a greater proportion of the fabricator's output.

AMD disclosed the existence of the deal in an 8-K regulatory filing submitted to the SEC earlier this week. The company has committed to buy $1.6bn worth of 12nm and 14nm node silicon wafers between now and December 31, 2024. It did not disclose a breakdown of the costs nor the exact quantity of output it had secured.

Should AMD fail to meet its purchase obligation, it has committed to pay GlobalFoundries a portion of the difference between its planned and actual spend. AMD has also agreed to pre-pay for an unspecified portion of these wafers in advance.

Continue readingAudacity's new management hits rewind on telemetry plans following community outrage Sorry for trying to add it or sorry for cocking up the comms?

Amid the smell of burning rubber, the new managers of open-source audio editor Audacity have announced a U-turn on plans to introduce "basic telemetry" into the product.

Audacity pitched up under the umbrella of Muse Group earlier this month and professed itself to be both "scared and excited."

Mere days later, an impressive number of users went for the former option and expressed alarm at a GitHub request introducing "basic telemetry."

Continue readingApple's expert witness grilled by Epic over 'frictionless' spending outside the app How easy would it be for customers to depart the walled garden, legal eagles ask economist

Epic Games' lawyers had a chance to put Apple's expert witness through the wringer in the latest from its California bench trial.

Counsel for Apple called to the stand Lorin Hitt, an academic from the prestigious Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania.

Hitt – who had been selected as expert witness for Apple – questioned whether iOS was as effective at locking in users as previously claimed, citing a 26 per cent switch rate. He also debated whether users remained loyal to a platform because of switching costs, or because they simply like it.

Continue readingFacebook Giphy merger stays on ice after failed challenge to UK competition regulator Problem was of social network's own making, says unimpressed judge

Facebook has failed to neutralise an order from Britain's competition regulator freezing its buyout of Giphy after having "sat on its hands" and failed to answer questions, the Court of Appeal has found.

Judge Sir Geoffrey Vos said "the central problem in this case was entirely of Facebook's own making" as he dismissed its attempt to overturn an Initial Enforcement Order (IEO) made by Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year.

That IEO blocked the Mark Zuckerberg-owned social network from finishing off its $400m buyout of Giphy, a supplier of web tracking beacons cunningly disguised as funny little animated images used to spice up online chats and comment sections.

Continue readingTor users, beware: 'Scheme flooding' technique may be used to deanonymize you By probing for installed apps with custom URL schemes, it's possible to build a 32-bit unique fingerprint

FingerprintJS, maker of a browser-fingerprinting library for fraud prevention, on Thursday said it has identified a more dubious fingerprinting technique capable of generating a consistent identifier across different desktop browsers, including the Tor Browser.

That means, for example, if you browse the web using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome for some websites, and use the Tor browser to anonymously view others, there is a possibility someone could link your browser histories across all those sessions using a unique identifier, potentially deanonymize you, and track you around the web.

Doing this is non-trivial, it can be very inaccurate or unreliable, and so this is more of a heads up than anything else.

Continue readingNASA pops old-school worm logo onto Orion spacecraft Will be visible from the launchpad ... when it finally gets there

NASA has slapped its worm logo on the side of the Crew Module Adaptor (CMA) for the Orion spacecraft as the first Artemis mission to the Moon inches closer.

The logo had already been stuck on the underside of the CMA last year, but sticking it on the side will ensure it is visible once the Orion spacecraft and its European-built service module are stacked atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and wheeled out to Kennedy's pad 39B.

Continue readingHospitals cancel outpatient appointments as Irish health service struck by ransomware Russia-based criminals pick soft target in hope of easy gains

Ireland's nationalised health service has shut down its IT systems following a "human-operated" Conti ransomware attack, causing a Dublin hospital to cancel outpatient appointments.

The country's Health Service Executive closed its systems down as a precaution, local reports from the Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ said, reporting that Dublin's Rotunda Hospital had cancelled appointments for outpatients – including many for pregnant women.

"The maternity hospital said all outpatient visits are cancelled - unless expectant mothers are 36 weeks pregnant or later," reported RTÉ, adding: "All gynaecology clinics are also cancelled today."

Continue readingRapping otters and automated database knob-twiddling: An obvious combination in some universe or other OtterTune to compete with Oracle automation, but also for open source databases

A university spin-out startup has announced a private beta of an automated database tuning service which its founder claims can double the performance or halve the cost of the popular AWS Relational Database Service.

Among its marketing hype, though, is the, erm, novel approach of launching a hip-hop album of beats and screeching otters. More of that later.

Originating from a project at Carnegie Mellon Database Group, OtterTune is based on the idea you can use machine learning to identify the optimal setting for database parameter knobs, a task well beyond most developers and something even seasoned DBAs struggle with, given the number of databases on the market that they might be required to manage.

Continue readingNHS-backed org reacted to GitHub leak disclosure with legal threats and police call, complains IT pro Retention of now-deleted security breach evidence sparks spat

+Comment IT pro Rob Dyke says an NHS-backed company not only threatened him with legal action after he flagged up an exposed GitHub repository containing credentials and insecure code, it even called the police on him.

Dyke, who has previously appeared in this organ, in March said he received letters from lawyers representing the Apperta Foundation after he told the business he had found a public repo containing the source code for an insecure online portal and its database containing usernames, hashed passwords, email addresses, and API keys.

We're told the repository contained two branches, and dated back to 2019. It clearly shouldn't be public as it could be used to view internal purchasing, receipting, budgets, and expenditure information through the portal. The material was left visible to the public for so long that the Internet Archive mirrored a copy of it, which indicated the files were committed to GitHub by a now-deleted account that appeared to belong to a senior Apperta person.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3uST9f9