Business Alerts by Chrissie Cluney

  • The UK to Borrow for its High Speed Broadband

The UK government will be borrowing to try to encourage investment in high-speed fiber broadband networks and 5G technology. The government is said to be spending over £1BN (in the United States that’s 1 billion dollars) by 2020-2021 to continue to build the country’s digital infrastructure.

“Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them. My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G — that means a full fiber network, a step change in speed, security and reliability. So we will invest over £1BN in our digital infrastructure to catalyze private investment in fiber networks and to support 5G trials,” said Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The UK does well in ranking when it comes to the top 10 countries for average broadband speeds, according to Akamai’s 2016 report. However, the gap between urban and rural broadband speeds remains problematic.

Telecommunications company, BT, whose Openreach subsidiary owns and manages access to the UK’s primary broadband infrastructure, has its focus on its efforts of squeezing higher speeds out of the existing copper based infrastructure. This infrastructure has very limited full fiber to the home rollouts.

This allows rival broadband network providers, such as Virgin Media, to typically focus on urban areas where the volume of paying customers makes the infrastructure expenditure worthwhile. The result of that focus is just two percent of UK premises have access to full-fiber connections.

What’s the government’s plan? They plan to improve that figure by encouraging smaller, alternative players to push in with full fiber offerings. There will be £400M (US – $495,480,000) for what it dubs “gold standard” fiber broadband, with funds needing to be matched by broadband providers, so a potential £800M (US –$998,600,000.) to fund rollouts.

  • President-elect Trump Appoints Two New People to FCC

President-elect Trump has appointed two anti-Net Neutrality opponents to his transition team. Their task will be overseeing his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda.

Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon.

In 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee. “Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest,” said Eisenach.

The anti-net neutrality opponent worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post he wrote, “Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple.”

Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint‘s lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center.

These two men can be considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. Net neutrality prevents companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix.

 

  • Wi-Fi Rules Five Ways Rules

What would we do without Wi-Fi? The invention has made it so immensely easier for everyone to stay connected. Here’s five ways in which Wi-Fi has assisted us.

  1. People can stream ALL of the movies they want. Streaming subscription services have been able to revolutionize the way we consume movies and TV shows. Most of the top services require at least a 5.0 Mbps connection speed for the best viewing experience.
  2. It helps gamers to level up. “Lag” is a word can strike terror into the hearts of devoted gamers on the verge of completing the final level of their favorite game. Wi-Fi assists any gamer with reaching the highest levels with some ease.
  3. For communication in the workplace. Wi-Fi is glue that holds most businesses and companies together nowadays. Companies would be lost without a good connection. Just like when a power outage occurs, we take Wi-Fi in the workplace for granted. We just assume that it’ll be working properly that is, until it fails.
  4. When you work from home. If you’re self-employed, Wi-Fi is something that runs your business. Having no Wi-Fi for even one day could be a major setback with communicating with interested buyers, sellers, or business contacts.
  5. Because you can’t live without it. Wi-Fi has become something like water, in the sense that you just can’t live without it. The connection is becoming a base necessity for civilization. It’s no wonder, President Barack Obama spearheaded the 2010 National Broadband Plan, designed to get internet into every American household.

 

  • A New Battery Could Charge in Seconds and be used for Days

 

Battery technology plays a major role in our digital lives. While it has certainly been refined over the past few years, there is always room for improvement.

Scientists from the University of Central Florida have developed a supercapacitor battery prototype that works as if it were new even after being recharged as many as 30,000 times. If successful, the research could mean the development of super fast-charging batteries that could last a whopping 20 times as long as today’s lithium-ion batteries.

In other words, you could charge your phone in only a few seconds and not need to charge it again for an entire week,” said Nitin Choudhary, postdoctoral associate at UCF, in a report from Engadget.

The reason that supercapacitors can be charged so quickly is that they store electricity on the surface of a material, instead of having to store it through chemical reactions, as happens in lithium ion batteries. These material sheets are able to hold a ton of electrons.

The research is still in early development and it is nowhere near ready for commercialization just yet. Although it certainly looks promising. Presently, the technology is just a proof of concept. The team behind it is now figuring out the best way to patent the technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION GATHERED

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1.) https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/23/uk-to-put-up-1bn-for-full-fiber-broadband-and-5g-400m-extra-for-vc/

 

UK to put up £1BN for full fiber broadband and 5G, £400M extra for VC

Posted 5 minutes ago by Natasha Lomas (@riptari)

 

The UK government has confirmed it will be borrowing to try to encourage investment in high speed fiber broadband networks and 5G technology — with a plan to spend over £1BN by 2020-2021 to bolster the country’s digital infrastructure.

Giving his Autumn Statement today, Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them. My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G — that means a full fiber network, a step change in speed, security and reliability. So we will invest over £1BN in our digital infrastructure to catalyze private investment in fiber networks and to support 5G trials.”

The UK continues to rank well outside the top 10 countries for average broadband speeds, according to Akamai’s 2016 report. While the gap between urban and rural broadband speeds remains problematic.

Incumbent telco BT, whose Openreach subsidiary owns and manages access to the UK’s primary broadband infrastructure, has focused its efforts on squeezing higher speeds out of existing copper based infrastructure — with only very limited full fiber to the home rollouts. While rival broadband network providers, such as Virgin Media, typically focus on urban areas where the volume of paying customers makes the infrastructure expenditure worth their while. The result: Just two per cent of UK premises have access to full-fibre connections.

The government’s plan to improve that figure is to encourage smaller, alternative players to push in with full fiber offerings. There will be £400M for what it dubs “gold standard” fiber broadband, with funds needing to be matched by broadband providers — so a potential £800M to fund rollouts.

Today Hammond also said that from next April there will be 100 per cent business rates relief for a five year period on new fiber infrastructure — “supporting further rollout of fiber to homes and businesses”.

A further £750M will be made available to fund 5G trials.

The chancellor added that the government will be asking the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) for recommendations on the UK’s future economic infrastructure needs — and signaled an intention to increase the proportion of GDP spent here, to between 1% and 1.2% of GDP every year from 2020, up from around 0.8% this year.

£400M to try to help UK startups scale before being bought out

The Autumn Statement also contained a measure specifically aimed at supporting UK startups to scale up, with the Chancellor announcing plans to put £400M into venture capital firms via the British Business Bank — “unlocking £1BN of new finance for growing firms” as, in his words, “a first step to tackle the long-standing problem of our fastest growing startup tech firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale”.

Eileen Burbidge a parter at VC firm Passion Capital, which has received investment money via the British Business Bank, welcomed the move.

 

“I think it’s an excellent decision,” she told TechCrunch. “Passion isn’t more likely to be a future beneficiary than anyone else (our existing/prior BBB commitments have been done/in the past, 2011 and 2015) but as a previous beneficiary we can attest to how valuable the BBB support was to attracting other investors in support of our fund and activities.

“The BBB was absolutely crucial for us in launching our first fund since we were first time fund managers. Their commitment helped to secure funding from across European and South East Asian family offices and high net worths. So I think it’s brilliant the BBB will be given more funding to support even more fund managers or to greater degrees.”

Asked about the government’s overarching aim of prevent promising homegrown startups from being bought by overseas acquirers before they have a chance to get really big she described it as a “noble aim”, but added: “I see it all as good activity (acquisitions, mergers) and that it’s a good thing the world recognises Britain as a place to scout for great talent, innovation and technology.

“I’ve no doubt as our digital/tech ecosystem continues to mature that we’ll have more and more British ‘tech giants’ as well.”

Another measure announced in the statement is a commitment to spent £390M to build on what Hammond dubbed the UK’s “competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles”. He also said there will be 100% first year capital allowance for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Also mentioned: support for plans to boost transport links between Oxford and Cambridge, with a view to capitalizing on knowledge sharing between the two universities.

“This project can be more than just a transport link — it can become a transformational tech corridor drawing on the world class research strengths of our two best known universities,” he said, backed the NIC’s interim recommendations on creating an Oxford, Cambridge “growth corridor”, including £110M in funding for East-West rail, and a commitment to deliver an Oxford to Cambridge.

In the speech the chancellor also reiterated the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week of a £2BN per year funding boost for R&D by 2020. And confirmed the corporate tax rate will drop to 17 per cent next April — although Theresa May has also said the government will be reviewing the rate to see if a further cut is possible.

He flagged up, in passing, what he described as “the raft of investments in the UK” since the Brexit referendum — name-checking Softbank, Nissan, Google and Apple, among others.

End: WordPress Article Content FEATURED IMAGE: CHRIS RATCLIFFE/GETTY IMAGES

2.)

http://www.gizmodo.in/news/Trump-Names-Two-Opponents-of-Net-Neutrality-to-Oversee-FCC-Transition-Team/articleshow/55551806.cms

 

 

Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team

Michael Nunez

| Gizmodo Media

Nov 22, 2016, 02.42 AM IST

 

DONALD TRUM

Image: AP

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Both of the new advisers are staunch opponents of net neutrality regulations.

Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon and its trade association. In September 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee and said, “Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest.” He has also worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post wrote, “Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple.”

Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, also has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint’s lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center.

Both Eisenach and Jamison are considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. For the uninitiated, the rules passed last year prevent companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix. The FCC’s net neutrality rules would protect consumers from paying exorbitant fees for internet use.

President-elect Trump has also been a vocal opponent of net neutrality. In 2014, he tweeted:

Follow

Donald J. Trump

‪@realDonaldTrump

Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.

1:58 PM – 12 Nov 2014

 

 

 

The latest news from Trump’s transition team spells bad news for more than just the open internet. In addition to opposing net neutrality, Jamison has also publicly opposed FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s attempts to open up the cable industry’s monopoly on set-top boxes. Jamison recently wrote that chairman Wheeler’s reason for revisiting cable set-top box rules relied on “bad math and falsehoods masquerading as facts.”

The appointments should be startling to regular internet users because both advisers are like for deregulation. As it stands, most Americans have only one or two choices for broadband providers. With less regulation, it could encourage companies that are practically running monopolies to start price-gouging consumers. Back in February, four million people sent emails to the FCC in favor of passing net neutrality rules-but it now appears that those rules could soon be revised by a new administration.

 

 

Five ways Wi-Fi rules the world

We’ve come a long way from the early days where internet was all about information and entertainment — the new mantra is all about speed and quality of connectivity. We now expect instant and reliable connection to the internet, for a reasonable price. While mobile data services have improved for the AYCE (All-You-Can-Eat) model for the TV streaming and first-person shooter binges, there is no cost-effective replacement for good old Wi-Fi.

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But, sufficient Wi-Fi speed has been challenging as our devices get faster and our HD/Ultra-HD video streaming subscriptions take over TV; and as broadband speeds have zoomed up to 100-1000 Mbps, the need for a reliable Wi-Fi has never been so important. If your phone or laptop lags or connection lags in certain areas of the house or you see your 200 Mbps Internet service going down to a trickle in that new TV room with the 65 inch 4K screen, hit the pause button before upgrading your speed (and shelling out cash to your internet service provider). Your router has a lot to do with your Wi-Fi experience, so make sure yours is up for the movie/gaming night challenge.

New tech, such as the NETGEAR Orbi a tri-band Wi-Fi system that delivers consistent speeds through concrete walls and canvases up to 4,000 square feet, is the gold standard of dependability and coverage. The NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi system uses an Orbi Router and Orbi Satellite to provide you whole home Wi-Fi coverage and speed. Better Wi-Fi benefits us all, in more ways than we might realize. We’ve got five reasons Wi-Fi is already ruling the world.

 

 

  1. You can stream ALL of the movies

Streaming subscription services have revolutionized the way we consume movies and TV shows. Imagine being at a buffet with all your favorite foods, but no fork to eat any of it. That’s the frustration of a slow connection: Top streaming services require at least a 5.0 Mbps connection speed for the best viewing experience. Can you imagine a world where you watched videos, TV shows and movies without Wi-Fi? And what if your roommates want to watch soap operas on the TV, while you’re keen on watching the football game on your laptop? Better triple those figures above — all the more reason to make sure your Wi-Fi is up to snuff.

  1. It helps you level up

Lag. That single word strikes terror into the hearts of devoted gamers on the verge of completing the final level (for the 238th time). Whether you’re a first person shooter or role playing gamer, those teenagers from Costa Rica on your gaming network will show no mercy when your spotty router delivers an ill-timed blip. Especially on nights when friends descend on your living room, consoles in hand, you’ll want the best connection possible to complete the mission and reach legendary status among the global gamer microcosm, whose company is entirely dependent on your Wi-Fi.

 

 

  1. For communication in the workplace

Mere frustration becomes serious anxiety when the Wi-Fi cuts out at work. Especially for corporate types and people who communicate between regional offices, the tedium of reconnecting to a dropped conference call is nothing to laugh about at the water cooler. And for creatives, public relations communicators and anyone who already stresses over deadlines, a slow or dropped signal means utter failure (and convincing the client that it wasn’t your fault, which is never a good time). Just like a power outage, Wi-Fi in the workplace is something you don’t even think about — until it fails.

 

  1. When you work from home

If your cubicle looks more like a bed frame, you’re probably dependent on your internet for your livelihood. You don’t want to try telling clients and employers you couldn’t get on a video conference call because your Wi-Fi went out. They’ll say, “Oh, did your dog eat your homework, too?” Cut the excuses — and the cords — and make sure your home wireless experience is reliable as you are.

  1. Because you can’t live without it

Like water, oxygen and TV streaming, Wi-Fi is becoming a base necessity for civilization — it’s no wonder President Barack Obama spearheaded the 2010 National Broadband Plan, designed to get internet into every American household. And Wi-Fi is continuing to streamline our home lives, with smart home tech such as Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, appliances, security cameras and more becoming the norm. The future is the NETGEAR Orbi’s 200 Mbps internet connectivity throughout your home. The future is now.

 

4.)

Charge your phone in seconds, use it for days? A new battery may make it possible

By Christian de Looper — November 22, 2016 10:40 AM

 

Battery technology plays a pretty major role in our digital lives and while it has certainly been refined over the past few years, there is always room for improvement. Scientists from the University of Central Florida have developed a supercapacitor battery prototype that works as if it were new even after being recharged as many as 30,000 times.

If successful, the research could mean the development of super fast-charging batteries that could last a whopping 20 times as long as today’s lithium-ion batteries. In other words, you could charge your phone in only a few seconds and not need to charge it again for an entire week, according to postdoctoral associate Nitin Choudhary, in a report from Engadget.

More: Tips to make your iPhone battery last longer (and a common myth busted)

The reason that supercapacitors can be charged so quickly is that they store electricity on the surface of a material, instead of having to store it through chemical reactions, as happens in lithium ion batteries. Those material sheets can hold a ton of electrons.

Much of the research with batteries involves using graphene. However, the team at UCF chose to go a different route — it wrapped 2D metal materials, which are only a few atoms thick, around tiny conductive wires, which essentially allows electrons to pass from the core to the shell quickly and easily. The result was a fast-charging material with a lot of energy and power density.

It’s important to note that the research is still in early development and it is nowhere near ready for commercialization just yet, however it certainly looks promising. Currently, the tech is just a proof of concept and the team behind it is now figuring out the best way to patent the tech. While it could go nowhere, like a lot of other battery ‘breakthroughs,’ we could also hear a lot more about supercapacitor research in the near future.

A Tale of Three (FCC) Decisions

As the FCC enabled whitespaces for the computing industry the wireless world continued to be advanced with the merger of Sprint WiMAX into Clearwire and the approval of the Alltel acquistion by Verizon.  While I will miss the wizard commercials, I think the more important observation is the question of how wireless evolves.

The Verizon story will be mostly around LTE, Clearwire around WiMAX. But who owns White Space?  Who do you associate with this alternative?  Google and Microsoft have been big advocates, but I am not sure they intend to be a service provider for this space. On the other hand, Cloud Computing is probably going to benefit tremendously from the access the White Space provides.  Should I insert Ebay/Skype and Amazon into this discussion?  Motorola and Phillips for their devices?

Imho the future of wireless is going to be very dynamic.  And as we have seen from the iPhone’s success its going to be more about what you can do than what technology is used.