The British poodle
Would the government kick up a stick if it was an American individual who bought this stake? Good boy, here's another bone.
The UK government has kicked off a national security assessment on the investment in BT by French telco tycoon Patrick Drahi, who via his Altice UK organisation topped up his stake to 18 percent late last year. Announced today, the probe is understood to be one of the first such uses of new powers the UK government granted …
Look at what happened to Cobham, bought by a US outfit and now at the mercy of some venture capital group this is busily engaged in breaking it up in to pieces and selling them "to realise their investment".
In real world speak, get rid of the IP and any assets, siphon all the money out, load it with debt and cast the resulting inviable mess to the wolves.
For far too long the UK has just let some fantastically successful companies be bought and destroyed.
The energy supply companies
BNFL Nuclear (I think that is what they were)
The list goes on......
There is a policy position somewhere between state ownership and owned by nasty old foreigners you know.
Also, this government didn't put it on the stock market, it was already there when they came to power. So again, there is a perfectly reasonable policy position between giving somewhat of a shit who owns it, without wanting to control it through government.
Personally I quite like the compromise of saying some companies run important infrastructure, so they can be on the stock market, but can't be controlled by anywone without approval - and are also highly regulated.
The water companies for example did a lot more dumping of raw sewage when they were owned by the government. Because the government was both in charge of regulating them, and in charge of providing the money for better sewage treatment. Hence it went easy on regulating them, as the cheaper choice. Now the government has more of an incentive to regulate them properly, because the Treasury don't have to stump up the cash - which they might rather spend on popular things like tax cuts or NHS spending.
Just to clarify - British Telecommunications was privatised in 1984 by the Conservative Party.
In general, the Conservative party (over a number of years/governments) have has a policy to privatise utilities. My guess would be for the following key reasons
1 - Free money - they get lots of money without having to raise taxes
2 - Unions - they can avoid getting involved in industrial action by saying that the companies are private and nothing to do with them.
all well and good - but if you don't regulate properly then eventually you will be up a creek without a paddle. Unfortunately for the country, the Conservatives are also big fans of light touch regulation.Which shows that you can't have your (privatisation) cake and eat it too.
If the foreigners own a bunch of your power plants and start messing around, then you send in the police to sieze them. Woohoo! Free nationalisation! And company have lost all their investment. Most of the workers aren't local, this would be pretty easy to do.
If the nasty foreigners own your major telecoms network, they might start spying on it. And if they don't have to disrupt things and risk their investment in order to gain advantage. Traditionally spying on other peoples' communications has been what we do to foreigners. And after all, everyone knows you can't trust the French...
British readers who have only recently packed away the bunting commemorating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II have been offered reason to get it out again by Crown Commercial Services, which is offering up the 10-year anniversary of G-Cloud as a cause for celebration.
The procurement wing of the Cabinet Office has also said that the commercial arrangement for aggregating demand for public-sector cloud consumption had netted £1.5 billion ($1.83 billion) in benefits for public sector customers.
Crown Commercial Services did not show its working on how it arrived at the calculation, and has yet to respond to The Register's questioning on the matter.
The top-down approach to the procurement of a £360 million data platform for NHS England is said to favor incumbent supplier Palantir as fears grow the project could be making the same mistakes that led to the failure of the country's infamous £10 billion National Programme for IT.
Reports emerged recently showing that the secretive spy-tech business was making the competition, launched in April this year, a "must-win deal" following its recruitment of Indra Joshi and Harjeet Dhaliwal, key figures in NHS England's data science and AI teams.
The UK government has committed to ending its reliance on legacy applications, or at least those it deems the highest priority, by 2025.
In a policy paper released yesterday, the Central Digital & Data Office (CDDO) said the costly issue of technical debt had been allowed to build up over multiple financial cycles and was now a barrier to the delivery of policy and services.
In the US, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the government spent over $100bn in fiscal 2021 on IT.
The UK's police service is set to spend up to £50 million ($62.7 million) buying hardware and software for a legacy communication network that was planned to become obsolete in 2019.
The Home Office had planned to replace the Airwave secure emergency communication system, which launched in 2000, with a more advanced Emergency Services Network by the close of the decade. However, the legacy network has seen its life extended as its replacement was beset with delays. The ESN is expected to go live in 2026.
In a procurement notice, the Police Digital Service (PDS) said it was looking for up to three suppliers of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) Encryption Algorithm 2 (TEA2) compatible radio devices – including handheld, desktop, and mobile terminals – as well as software, accessories, services, and maintenance for use on the UK Airwave system.
The UK Home Office has awarded Oracle a £31.47 million ($39.5 million) contract to continue to run its HR and finance systems in the cloud.
The four-year software-as-a-service deal for Oracle's Fusion ERP system has been renewed to run from May 2022 to May 2026.
According to a tender notice, the award will provide "SaaS, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products for Metis," the internal name for the HR and finance system of the government department responsible for policing and border security.
BT linked arms with Ericsson to serve-up commercial 5G private network deployments as a managed service for organizations in Britain.
The move effectively sees BT acting as systems integrator for Ericsson's private 5G networking technology, which enables customers to operate their own dedicated 5G networks.
These offer the advantage of a high-speed network that can cover a much wider area than a typical enterprise Wi-Fi deployment, making them suitable for environments such as factories, educational campuses and other large sites where security and ultra-low latency connectivity are important.
Everyone's favorite outsourcing business Capita is scheduled to see 415 government contracts with the British public sector expire between 2022 and 2025, more than any other major supplier.
According to UK government spending research firm Tussell, the IT services company will see government contracts to the value of £700 million come to an end during the next three years.
While it is set to wave goodbye to more contracts than any strategic supplier in any area of the public sector, the value of its expiring contracts is eclipsed by facilities management supplier G4S, which will see 30 contracts worth a total of £1.8bn expire over the period.
The UK government has kicked off a consultation to collate feedback on strengthening the security and resilience of local datacenters and cloud services to protect against outages and national security threats.
Companies that run, purchase or rent any element of a datacenter are being asked to detail the types of customers they serve.
Announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) late last week, the move is perhaps a recognition that the UK may need to beef up measures to safeguard key infrastructure against cyber threats and other disruptions.
Government departments are guilty of high levels of non-compliance with the UK's off-payroll tax regime, according to a report by MPs.
Difficulties meeting the IR35 rules, which apply to many IT contractors, in central government reflect poor implementation by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and other government bodies, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.
"Central government is spending hundreds of millions of pounds to cover tax owed for individuals wrongly assessed as self-employed. Government departments and agencies owed, or expected to owe, HMRC £263 million in 2020–21 due to incorrect administration of the rules," the report said.
Brit telecoms giant BT is undertaking a trial of new antenna technology that may boost the range of 5G networks and reduce mobile network energy consumption.
The receiver technology works by exploiting a quantum effect called "electromagnetically induced transparency" to form a highly sensitive electric field detector. According to BT, this could theoretically make it over 100 times more sensitive than traditional receivers, allowing it to detect weaker signals and thus extend the range of a mobile network deployment.
Regular readers will no doubt have become twitchy at the mention of the word "quantum" so we asked BT if it could supply us with a simple explanation of how the new antenna technology works. It told us:
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