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Comms Express - Networking Specialists
Networking News
A number of BT's rivals have called for the telecoms group to spin off its network infrastructure division into an entirely separate company.Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone have all raised concerns about the future of Openreach, BT's infrastructure division, which is responsible for managing and maintaining BT's wholesale network.Both TalkTalk and Sky use BT's network of copper and fibre cables to deliver telecoms services to their customers; they pay BT a wholesale fee per fixed-line.The duo are concerned about BT having an unfair advantage in the market, particularly now the company is set to acquire EE - the UK's largest 4G provider - and launch mobile services.Openreach was created in 2005 to offer equal access to BT's network cables for all service providers, but BT's rivals believe the current set-up is no longer fit-for-purpose.Dido Harding, Chief Executive at TalkTalk, said it is "crucial" that Ofcom seizes the opportunity to structurally separate the two companies."BT’s proposed merger with EE threatens to make a bad situation worse," she claimed."It will further starve Openreach of the focus and capital it needs and will extend BT’s dominance of the market."Ms Harding said a fully independent Openreach, which focuses exclusively on infrastructure, would be incentivised to maximise fibre cable coverage and improve service quality.This would end BT’s ability to erode competition, she added.Jeremy Darroch, chief executive at Sky, agreed that there are "serious questions" about whether the existing UK telecoms structure can deliver the infrastructure, innovation and choice that consumers and businesses need."Structural separation of Openreach, the UK's only nationwide broadband infrastructure, is at the heart of creating a sustainable industry," he claimed.Mr Darroch said Ofcom must take the opportunity to address Openreach’s conflict of interest as a subsidiary of BT, or risk extending the problems that are affecting the telecoms industry and its customers today.Meanwhile, Vodafone UK's regulatory affairs head Matthew Braovac said his firm "absolutely thinks structural separation of BT is something that should be part of the digital communications review"."We support it, we think it should happen," he stated. "We think it is a good way of cutting through an otherwise intractable set of regulatory problems.”Written by Steve Wilkin for Comms Express
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Last Updated: 2015-03-26 11:19:35
Tales from the 'Comms Blog'
In a previous blogs we’ve championed Google and their innovative team. We watched with huge interest the Google Glass reports and updates. We have to say we were a little shocked, as were many, when we heard that Google were to end its Glass Explorer program earlier this year. We assumed that it was to be the end of Google Glass.

However it would appear that I was wrong. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated that the technology and advances made thus far behind Glass are just too important to throw away and it is currently being made ready for users.

Schmidt was reported as saying, “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us cancelling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it." Schmidt added that Glass remains a "big and very fundamental platform for Google," and that just like the company's self-driving cars, the wearable device is a work in progress that will take years to come to fruition. "It's like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now."    Glass has been moved out of its Google X research lab and hand it off to Tony Fadell, head of the company’s Nest connected home division, which Schimdt says is a sign of its continued commitment to the face computer. Glass has attracted many headlines and not a little controversy, with many criticizing the invasion of people’s privacy because of the ability for the Glass wearer to record video and take photos unobtrusively. The early defamatory name for users was “glassholes.” But Google remains interested in wearable computing devices, a potentially large market. Research firm IDC forecast last year that annual shipments will grow 78% a year to 112 million by 2018. That compares to an IDC estimate of almost 1.9 billion smartphones shipped in 2018. The IDC believe that wearable’s will not catch on as quickly as smartphones because they have found it hard to estimate the true value for the user. I understand that Google is working on a cheaper version of Glass and certainly this will aid in its expansion I feel. Suddenly with an affordable entry price and the ability to operate independently from smartphones via their own Internet connection Glass will I am sure prove to be an attractive device.     If they can also combine this with a longer battery life then I have no doubt that Glass will prove a success. In no way am I playing down the invasion of privacy and the social stigma already attached to Glass but as with all technological advances fears will arise. Another huge factor is the recruitment of Fadell from Apple. The brains behind the iPod he is one smart cookie and will be working with his team to not only develop the best possible product but also alleviate any fears.  I wait with interest more news on Glass Until next time....

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Last Updated: 2015-03-24 15:46:27
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