It is perhaps true to say that the effectiveness of Enterprise Architecture varies from organisation to organisation, and it would appear that the differentiating factor in the success of practices is the level of acceptance from senior management teams. Organisations which value the contributions enterprise architecture can make in aiding business decisions where IT is a contributing factor, can reap the benefits of a joined up approach when realising institutional goals and ambitions. Let us not forget that enterprise architecture is not just about IT, it’s about bridging the gap between the services which IT can provide with the needs of the wider organisation and the strategic direction it is taking. Continue reading
It will always be impractical to implement superfast broadband for every household, especially for those with rural broadband. But why?
Roughly 5% of houses will not be covered by real superfast broadband. This is commonly because they are geographically dispersed, have long lines to the exchange or have no BT fixed line service. All of these premises, people and businesses are stuck in a time warp drying up their ability to use the digital world and preventing growth of smaller businesses. The internet is now so pervasive, I would argue that it is far more important than traditional telephony, especially when it comes to inclusivity of our society (leaving people behind), and inspiring the next generation.
High speed Internet is essential for our society going forward. If we are to compete with the likes of the asia block, we must invest and bring real superfast speeds to every household. Aiming for 100Mbit for each household should be a minimum; and not in 10 years but we need to start working now.
A world of connected devices, Internet of Things, real free sharing of information, open honesty from governments, financial transparency, all of these rely upon an open and inclusive Internet. As the barriers between countries become lost into an electronic world, we should be at the forefront, the pioneers, the innovators.
But we are stuck in the international slower lane, and told that fixed telephone line is not always the answer to super fast internet. We are told this as the 5% left are expensive, complicated or just not profitable to service. Let’s first think of the alternatives:
- Mobile providers are now slowly distributing faster data services, but for the 5%, they are not going to be anywhere near the top of the list of telecoms masts to upgrade to 4G. When we can’t even get good mobile internet coverage on the train, how are we going to expect good rural coverage?
- Satellite broadband services are available – offering up to the ‘slow’ end of the superfast spectrum (10Mbits), they are very expensive; bandwidth limited and they introduce large time lags making it virtually impossible for computer gaming and time sensitive security applications (VPN’s etc).
- There are also a few wireless initiatives, but these are few and tend to focus on ‘slow’ speeds for defined communities (such as villages) and still backhaul over BT fixed line network.
In essence, whilst there are a few alternatives, none of them live up to a sustainable and high quality service that we have come to expect over the BT fixed line network in towns and cities.
If the answer is the fixed line network, there are a couple of scenarios that should be considered:
- UK plc should invest heavily into this fixed line service to upgrade all lines to FTTP. This will help bring us inline with our international competitors, allow the country to aim higher, facilitate home working and create a platform for sustainable business innovation.
- UK plc should bring the fixed line network into public hands, take the cost/risk away from a public company and return an asset to the country. Whilst some may consider this to be BT’s crown jewels, it is essentially run as a separate entity, it would allow BT to fairly compete and grow it’s business base.
The risk here is that the R&D investment BT has made into the broadband network would get lost. That spark and driver for innovation forced by competition may be lost.
- Perhaps the compromise is the formation of a UK Openreach – a publically owned shell organisation that distributes contracts to 3rd parties for the provision of a fixed line network. This would have to ‘own’ the local loop connection from exchange/green cabinet; but not the back haul to the ISP’s network. This should not stop at just BT though; Virgin Media’s fibre network etc should also have to give up their wares to competition.
- Amend the universal service obligation to focus on broadband and Internet speeds and not calls – after all, mobile or IP telephony is simple with sufficient speed to the Internet.
What ever we do though, we cannot afford to lose world class technologies companies like BT. There needs to be enough incentive to be creative, exciting and excellent in their use of technology; innovative enough to provide them with a business platform that is sustainable; and produce companies that are internationally competitive and world leading.
A project to enhance the internet connections across Plymouth University’s campus has earned recognition from judges at a national awards ceremony.
The major upgrade, part of a programme of investment in state-of-the-art technology, included an overhaul of the wired and wireless networks in more than 1,700 student rooms and other communal areas.
The project has now been named runner-up in the Best Use of Cloud category in the Real IT Awards, which aim to recognise outstanding IT innovation across the private and public sector.
Plymouth was the only educational institution on the awards shortlist, with other nominees including multi-national giants such as Volkswagen, E.ON, GlaxoSmithKline and Pepsi, as well as Government departments and public sector bodies.
Adrian Hollister, Head of Strategy and Architecture in Plymouth University’s Technology and Information Services Directorate, said: “When we saw the calibre of the other nominees, we realised that just being on the awards shortlist was a major achievement in itself, and a vindication of all our hard work on this project. Our students expect to be able to access internet services wherever they are on campus, and it is vital we do not rest on our laurels and remain in a position to meet those expectations. Enabling them to stay connected is a key part of their academic and personal development.”
The four-week upgrade was carried out by leading technology service company CAE, and involved providing a 600Mbit Wireless N service and a 100Mbit wired service, giving students full access to the University’s suite of online resources on all their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile devices. It enables families and friends to access the internet anywhere on campus during visits.
The upgraded service also includes a commitment to enhancing student employability by recruiting ambassadors for the service, who will become the first point of contact and providing out of hours help if required.
John Wright, the University’s Chief Information Officer, added: “This praise is due recognition for our outstanding technology team, who are consistently pushing the boundaries to keep the University ahead of the game. Through constant innovation, we have created an environment where students and staff can stay connected, and the new high performance wireless network has enabled us to achieve our ambition of supporting learning and leisure for all.”
Notes to Editors
The wireless upgrade involved the installation of 400 sector-leading Cisco Meraki wireless access points in halls, which have fast data throughput of 600 megabits per second. These devices are connected to the network using 12. 5km of high-tech cabling – CAT7 is the latest standard of cabling and is designed to work the next generation of technology and last around 20 years. An additional 8 Cisco Meraki wireless access points have been installed throughout the student village to provide students with WiFi access in popular outdoor areas including North Hill.
For more information about this press release, contact Plymouth University Press & PR Officer Alan Williams on 01752 588004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Plymouth University
Consistently ranked as one of the leading universities in the UK, and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2012, Plymouth has a strong record of excellence, enterprise and innovation across its teaching and research activities. Distinguished by its long-term engagement with business and the community, the University enjoys outstanding links with employers and plays a key role in civic and regional leadership. It is the only university in the world to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its work in support of the sector.
With around 30,000 students, including those studying higher education at its partner colleges throughout the South West, the University is one of largest in the UK. It enjoys a high rate of graduate employment and has recently invested more than £150 million in its estate and facilities to enhance the student experience and support world-class research.
Plymouth has embedded sustainability across its operations, and is the overall best performing university in the People & Planet Green League. It is the first modern university to found a medical and dental school – the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry – and is the leading provider of Higher Education in Cornwall. For more information, please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk