• Mobile stable as UK full-fibre broadband increases significantly over first half of 2020

    The fears of many in the UK in March that the nation’s broadband infrastructure would collapse through the extra strain of those working from home has proven, six month later, to be just a fear. Research from UK communications regulator Ofcom has provided evidence that this was avoided during lockdown by the accelerated roll-out of fibre and superfast broadband.

    Among the headline findings of the Connected Nations Update, which looked at connectivity up until the end of May 2020, were that full-fibre broadband roll-out has increased significantly to over 4.2 million homes (14%), up from 3.5 million (12%) since

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  • Scotland confirms launch of contact-tracing app

    Days after first revealing that the country was about to join the likes of Germany, Korea, the Republic of Ireland and other countries in having such capability, the Scottish government has made the official launch of Protect Scotland, the country’s Covid-19 coronavirus contact-tracing app.

    Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website, the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing, which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system. 

    The Scottish contact-tracing technology was first announced in May 2020, just as the UK-wide NHS began the first trials of its much-delayed and yet-to-be-launched app on

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  • Edinburgh council to create smart city operations centre

    Edinburgh council is building an operations centre to support smart city services using artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and analytics technologies.

    As part of the city council’s ambitions to becoming one of the world’s smartest cities, it has extended an outsourcing deal with CGI by six years.

    The extension for $175m (£102m) will take its managed IT services contract, which has already been in place for five years, to 2029. The original seven-year contract signed in 2015 was worth £186m. It saw CGI tasked with updating the council’s IT systems and support its “channel shift” programme, which

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  • Branch-based anti-fraud scheme to be expanded to online banking

    An anti-fraud scheme used in bank branches to spot potential scams is being expanded to cover online and telephone banking, following its success.

    The Banking Protocol is a scheme that trains banking staff to spot the warning signs when people are being scammed so they can alert the police.

    According to figures from industry body UK Finance, it stopped £19m worth of potential fraud in the first six months of 2020. In total, the scheme has prevented victims from losing £116m of fraud and led to 744 arrests since it was introduced three years ago. 

    The Banking Protocol was developed

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  • Technology businesses vital to UK post-Covid economic recovery

    Technology businesses and their digital exports will be vital to the UK’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery, according to government ministers and entrepreneurs, encouraging businesses to look for overseas opportunities at virtual event.

    Speaking at industry body Tech Nation’s Unlocking Global Tech event, head of Europe and Eurasia at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Martina Larkin, said the economic recovery from the pandemic so far has been very uneven – “stock markets are going up, but the situation for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] and employment is going down” – and that most European central banks are not expecting their economies

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