Category: Manchester

Reference Library – England – Manchester Broadband

Wales’ tech cities: Swansea and Cardiff lead chorus for tech jobs boom 0

Wales’ tech cities: Swansea and Cardiff lead chorus for tech jobs boom

Never mind Brexit, the two Welsh cities of Swansea and Cardiff are putting their tech credentials on the table. Our Celtic cousins in Wales are experiencing something of a tech jobs boom, with 103 new digital start-ups adding to the 117,470 tech workers in Swansea and Cardiff in the past year. Recent arrivals include AI start-up Amplyfi, which received a £400,000 unsecured loan from the Welsh government. ‘Last year, £4.6bn (68pc) of the UK’s tech investment was spent in regions outside the capital’ – RUTH JACOBS The traditional coal and steel industries of Wales were once the bedrock of the Welsh economy.

But now, according to Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad business solutions, Cardiff and Swansea are two of the UK’s fastest-growing tech cities, due to investment in both graduate opportunities and the digital transformation of the country as a whole. Digital investment in the UK’s tech industry was estimated at £6.8bn in 2016. Putting the valleys in Silicon Valley In a recent review of Swansea and Cardiff by Randstad 1 , it was noted that the investment in the region has a symbiotic relationship with the education sector, with input from four major universities: Cardiff University, the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University.

Jacobs said the universities provide a steady flow of IT-literate graduates to support the growing industry requirements. Swansea University was ranked 16th in the UK for graduate employment in the recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The digital staff requirements 2 in the tech sector are growing overall across the UK, adding to the existing 1.64m tech jobs.

Swansea and Cardiff are on track to becoming the leading tech employees, rivalling nearby Bristol. “Last year, £4.6bn (68pc) of the UK’s tech investment was spent in regions outside the capital,” Jacobs said. “Cardiff and Swansea have 17,470 tech jobs, and last year recorded 103 new tech and digital start-ups, such as Amplyfi, using artificial intelligence for data mining.” In terms of infrastructure, broadband connectivity across Wales is being bolstered as part of a Welsh government scheme to ensure ‘super-fast’ broadband, which will support investments not only in the cities but also across the south-east region. Development Bank of Wales is planning to support Welsh businesses with £1bn funding and unique investment projects such as the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult 3  in Cardiff, launched in 2016. This investment aims to fund innovative regional projects.

On the strength of the Swansea University IT programme, Swansea Bay City Region has secured a £500m deal to turn the area into a digital super-hub. In terms of start-ups, TechHub Swansea 4  provides office space for tech entrepreneurs with networking and lunch-and-learn events as part of the working landscape. Cardiff has similar innovation support, with  Tramshed Tech  5 supporting its co-working community.

Additionally, the ease of booking desk space at the Indycube 6  tech hub, available across Wales, nurtures the community. The Alacrity Foundation 7 ,  Cardiff Start 8 and the launch of  Innovation Point 9 ’s Welsh technology accelerator programme – named ‘Digital Dozen’ – are three programmes all aimed at supporting tech growth. “Swansea and Cardiff have great road and rail links to both London and Bristol,” Jacobs said. “Swansea is three hours by train from London, and Cardiff just over two hours. As a lifestyle choice, both cities are a 30-minute drive from areas of outstanding national beauty like the Gower Peninsula and the Brecon Beacons. “The house prices are also under the UK average, at £185,639,” she added.

References ^ Randstad (www.randstad.co.uk) ^ digital staff requirements (www.randstad.co.uk) ^ Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (csa.catapult.org.uk) ^ TechHub Swansea (swansea.techhub.com) ^ Tramshed Tech  (tramshedtech.net) ^ Indycube (indycube.cymru) ^ The Alacrity Foundation (www.alacrityfoundation.co.uk) ^ Cardiff Start (cardiffstart.com) ^ Innovation Point (www.innovationpoint.uk)

Light up, light up: National Broadband Plan could bring 2600 jobs to rural Ireland 0

Light up, light up: National Broadband Plan could bring 2600 jobs to rural Ireland

Engineers Ireland urges the delivery of National Broadband Plan as soon as possible. Universal rural broadband connectivity in Ireland would generate 2,600 new direct and indirect jobs, Engineers Ireland has claimed. In its latest report ‘The State of Ireland 2017 – A Review of Infrastructure in Ireland’ 1 Engineers Ireland also calls on the Irish Government to establish a single infrastructure unit to embrace fresh ideas on infrastructure policy. ‘The installation of Ireland’s nationwide broadband infrastructure is akin to the electrification of rural Ireland in the last century in terms of scale, ambition and the socio-economic benefits it will deliver’ – DR KIERAN FEIGHAN Currently Eir, Siro and E-net are shortlisted for the tender for the National Broadband Plan 2 which could amount to an overall spend of €1.5bn to bring fibre connectivity to some 1.9m people.

Other countries around Europe are eagerly watching the development as it could form the blueprint for similar roll outs in rural areas in the EU. However, the plan was originally intended to have launched in June and now it may not be announced until November. The constant delays to commencement are, however, raising more questions than answers as to the ultimate feasibility of the plan.

The NBP was  changed 3  in April when the Government agreed a deal with Eir to grant the incumbent operator access to 300,000 of the homes in the intervention area. This reduced the number of homes in the NBP intervention area to 542,000 premises, including an additional 84,500 identified for the Department of Communications’ Broadband Map, much to the displeasure of the other bidders vying against Eir. Broadband just as vital as water and electricity for rural Ireland In the Engineers Ireland report, the National Broadband Plan is seen as an urgent measure to breathe life into Ireland’s rural economy.

The engineers industry group urged that National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract should be awarded without further delay, creating 2,600 direct and indirect jobs Commenting on Ireland’s communications infrastructure, the President of Engineers Ireland Dr Kieran Feighan stated that while networks overall were of an acceptable standard, the national broadband roll out was critical to rural development and overall national competitiveness. “The installation of Ireland’s nationwide broadband infrastructure is akin to the electrification of rural Ireland in the last century in terms of scale, ambition and the socio-economic benefits it will deliver. “The National Broadband Plan is a critical part of Ireland’s digital strategy in this respect.  Its delivery as soon as possible is crucial in terms of supporting rural connectivity, all-Ireland enterprise and innovation, and would deliver around 2,600 new direct and indirect jobs.” Dr Feighan said that the arrival of the NBP would pave the way for the development of the ‘Internet of Farm’ concept and applications to support more efficient farming techniques such as deployment of rural broadband to support activities such as: soil and crop management (temperature/humidity sensors), autonomous tractors that can plough/sow 24 hours a day; monitor health of livestock remotely. He also said that all new housing developments should include provision for infrastructure to support broadband roll-outs. Other suggestions in the report include the acceleration of the development of Metro North, the DART Expansion Programme, M20 and Luas line extensions.

It also urges the Government to find ways to  consumers and private car operators to purchase electric vehicles (EVs) and plan for the electrification of the heavy rail network.

The report calls for new ways to encourage car-sharing to discourage multi-car households and on-street urban parking and to improve connectivity of the north-west and the Atlantic Corridor to Ireland’s seaports.

References ^ ‘The State of Ireland 2017 – A Review of Infrastructure in Ireland’ (www.engineersireland.ie) ^ National Broadband Plan (www.siliconrepublic.com) ^ changed (www.siliconrepublic.com)

Anger over lack of response from EIR 0

Anger over lack of response from EIR

Councillor Margaret Gormely has been tabling motions on the issue for the past while, last November and again in March. The Council has written to Eir each time but no response has been forthcoming. They have been repeatedly called on to upgrade the cabinet at the rear of the Community Centre in Bunninadden as there is fibre broadband cable passing through the village.

Cllr Gormley wants to know when Eir plans on doing this. “It’s very disappointing that Eir are ignoring our correspondence,” she told last week’s meeting. “I will continue to highlight this issue until Eir carries out the works. It’ll be 18 months now before we are any way on with rural broadband. Here I am in July 2017 and Eir still hasn’t responded to a request to upgrade the cabinet in order to provide broadband in Bunninadden,” said Cllr Gormley.

She was supported by Councillor Keith Henry who said the issue of broadband nationally seemed to be “kicked down the road.” “It’ll be 2019 before we can see any progress. Minister Naughten is using Eir as if they were the National roll out,” he said. “The way Eir are not responding shows that they have very little respect for the people we represent and their customers. “They cherry pick business that makes no financial sense,” he said. Cllr Henry said he made a comment before that “Bunninadden must be the best place to have a quiz because you can’t get broadband and here I am again seven months later saying the same thing.” Councillor Michael Clarke said ICBAN (the Irish Central Border Area Network) was preparing to make a report on the progress of Eir.

He said they had £40m more money from the British Government than they had spent on the roll out.