• Russia presses ahead with developing 5G, but allocation of frequencies needs to be resolved first

    Late last, year Russia’s leading mobile phone operators, Rostelecom, Megafon, Vimpelcom and MTS, announced plans to create a joint venture to overcome the challenges of creating 5G networks, such as clearing up the frequency band required for their operation.

    5G plans have been heavily discussed in Russia for the last few years, but until recently, it wasn’t clear if new-generation networks would be developed by a consortium of existing operators or a designated operator would be formed to focus solely on 5G.

    The announcement of the consortium of operators stipulates that the member companies will share an allocated frequency

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  • Coronavirus prompts calls for fairer deal for self-employed IT workers

    The economic fallout from the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has “exposed the unfairness” of the government’s IR35 tax avoidance reforms, as self-employed IT workers face up to the prospect of being benched by clients without pay for an undefined period of time.

    On 17 March 2020, the government announced a £350bn package of measures to support businesses suffering from a downturn in trade as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but – at the time of writing – very little in the way of support for self-employed workers has been forthcoming.

    Speaking to Computer Weekly, Dave Chaplin, CEO of tax consultancy

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  • Huge queues for Universal Credit online applications due to coronavirus surge

    A government appeal for people affected by the coronavirus crisis to apply online for Universal Credit has led to enormous queues on the website for benefit applications.

    Tens of thousands of people whose livelihoods have been hit by the nationwide lockdown for the Covid-19 outbreak have become eligible for Universal Credit (UC) to help them financially survive. Yesterday (23 March), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started limiting access to jobcentres and “urged” the public to use online channels instead.

    This resulted in huge online queues for many people applying, with some complaining on social media about the difficulties

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