That was November 2010: Spending Review sparks public sector IT overhaul

Nov 1st
London Underground users can access Wi-Fi internet on phones, pads or laptops as part of a six-month BT Openzone trial. Wi-Fi access will be provided at Charing Cross Tube station, with plans for a wider roll-out by the Olympics in 2012. Access will be available in ticket halls and on platforms - but not on the Tube trains. BT said it now offers more than two million hotspots in the UK.

The government wants to turn the area around the Olympic Village in Stratford into the UK's rival to Silicon Valley. Prime Minister David Cameron revealed plans that included an entrepreneurial visa to allow multinational companies to transfer staff across to UK offices. Google, Facebook and Intel have already agreed to invest in the area.

The Public Sector Network (PSN), a secure private network for government agencies, has 'huge potential' to provide savings through shared infrastructure and services, Socitm has said.
The local council IT managers' association said that IT leaders of all local public services should be preparing now for connecting locally or regionally to the PSN.
"From this point, no individual network procurements in any local public service should now happen unless they are clearly part of existing or planned PSNs," said Jos Creese, Socitm president.

The High Court granted a judicial review into the Digital Economy Act, following calls from BT and TalkTalk. In July this year, the ISPs said the Act was "rushed through" and had "insufficient scrutiny". The firms also said they were concerned that measures to tackle net piracy - including plans to temporarily suspend people from the web - could be in breach of "basic rights and freedoms".
The Cabinet Office said that it would be looking at the future role of citizen information website Directgov as part of its digital engagement strategy review, which is due to be completed this month.

The District Court in Stockholm has decided to detain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and issuing an international arrest warrant is the next step, according to a statement from the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
The District Court said it decided to detain Assange, "on probable cause suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion."

BT tech guru and former CIO JP Rangaswami was appointed as chief scientist at, a similar role he held at the UK telecoms provider for the last four years. He stood down from his post at BT earlier this year.

Severn Trent Water began phase two of its major SAP implementation as we detailed earlier this year. The utilities company has already achieved cost savings of around £5 million this year from restructuring its support functions.

Embarrassment for BT, the first areas of the UK to be given access to BT's fibre network will not be able to access speeds of 100Mbps, the telecommunications company has confirmed.
The areas where fibre was initially rolled-out saw fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology installed, with copper cables joining homes to the street cabinets. However, the telecommunications company has revealed it will start deploying the faster fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology next.

China said it will investigate and prosecute Google next July if the search engine company does not acquire the necessary state licence to operate its Google Maps service in the country, according to the government.
As Apple bought land once owned by HP, significantly expanding the size of its Cupertino, California home base.
Reuters reports the deal will give Apple an additional 98 acres of land, roughly doubling the size of the company's Cupertino presence.

Vodafone said it will make it cheaper for UK customers to use data on their smartphones when in all of its European countries, plus networks in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria.
While the National Audit Office, the government's audit watchdog, is to hold a rush investigation into whether BT was paid £400 million over the market price for work on Programme for IT in the health service (NPfIT).


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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