The Investigatory Powers Bill for architects and administrators

OK, it’s not the end of the world. But it does change things radically, should it pass third reading in its current form. There is, right now, an opportunity to effect some change to the bill in committee stage, and I urge you to read it and the excellent briefings from Liberty and the Open Rights Group and others and to write to your MP.

Anyway. What does this change in our threat models and security assessments? What aspects of security validation and testing do we need to take more seriously? I’m writing this from my perspective, which is from a small ISP systems perspective, but this contains my personal views, not that of my employer, yada yada.

Continue reading The Investigatory Powers Bill for architects and administrators

We need to stop focusing on the “rural” in rural broadband

The UK has a massive, massive problem in the old infrastructure that is being propped up to support next-generation access. NGA implies that the access network is a next-generation technology, and in the UK’s interpretation of that it sort of is – we’re changing from ADSL2+ to VDSL2.

What we aren’t changing is the copper. We’re eliminating some of it by running some more fibre closer to people’s homes, but we’re not getting rid of the copper.

Copper has a limited lifespan. We’re already seeing this in some areas, both rural and urban. Especially where copper has been poorly installed or is waterlogged, 75+-year-old cables are not going to carry the UK into the next generation access era. Continue reading We need to stop focusing on the “rural” in rural broadband

Rural broadband – funding and BT’s pay-to-upgrade false economy

I’m a huge advocate for doing rural broadband right. Mainly because I live out in the sticks, but also because I believe in building infrastructure properly and doing things right. When it comes to digital infrastructure, rural communities have a problem – they’re not economically viable to maintain. So, first, an overview of the situation for small communities like mine.

BT put in basic service years ago to the entire country and are only now starting to look at upgrading areas outside of cities and larger towns, thanks to a large (£530 million£830 milion, after £300 million from the BBC license fee from 2015-17 got reallocated, grumble) handout from the government – under the auspices of Broadband Development UK. This pot of money is for connecting “90%” of the country at at least 2Mbps. Continue reading Rural broadband – funding and BT’s pay-to-upgrade false economy