Private Networks

Eurobites: UK's Online Safety Bill reaches lawmakers

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone creates jobs in Stoke, slims down Newbury HQ; FiberCop and Neoip add towns to fiber rollout; Nokia trials 5G network with Japan's Omron.

  • The UK government has introduced its long-gestated Online Safety Bill into the parliamentary regulation process, a move it hopes will ultimately protect children from potentially harmful online material posted on social media and elsewhere. Regulator Ofcom will have the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to 10% of annual global turnover and block non-compliant sites. Explaining the purpose of the proposed legislation, Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "If we fail to act, we risk sacrificing the wellbeing and innocence of countless generations of children to the power of unchecked algorithms." The bill will attempt to nail down a definition of what is harmful content in secondary legislation, meaning that "decisions on what types of content are harmful are not delegated to private companies or at the whim of internet executives."

    (Source: Robo Wunderkind on Unsplash)

  • Vodafone is to create more than 300 new "customer-facing roles" at its office in Stoke-on-Trent, a city in the English midlands. As a result of a more home-based or "blended" approach to its employees' work in general, Vodafone is also exploring a change of ownership structure at its Newbury headquarters site, looking to sell the freehold with a commitment to taking long-term leases on those campus buildings it feels it still needs.

  • Telecom Italia's infrastructure offshoot, FiberCop, has extended its fiber-to-the-home network program with Internet service provider Netoip to five more towns in central Italy, namely Forlì, Terni, Falconara Marittima, Fano and Monte Urano. FiberCop is hoping to reach about 60% of Italy's households with fiber by 2026. (See FiberCop is go after KKR and Fastweb firm up stakes.)

  • Japanese electronics company Omron has chosen a combination of Nokia and NSSOL to trial a private 5G network at its Kusatsu automation center in Shiga Prefecture. It is hoped that the deployment will allow Omron's customers to use 5G to link their equipment with Omron's control gear to conduct tests in a simulated production line. Nokia will supply its Digital Automation Cloud platform, while NSSOL will support the installation, construction and operation of the 5G-based system at the plant.

  • Belgian operator Proximus plans to help small businesses increase their online visibility through the launch of its Business Booster service, which guides those businesses through the creation of a decent e-commerce website and then attract new customers via a digital marketing tool. Belgium-based "digital coaches" will also be made available at all times as part of the package.

  • Ericsson has appointed Scott Dresser as its chief legal officer, replacing Xavier Dedullen. Dresser joins the Swedish vendor from Amsterdam-headquartered VEON.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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