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Five things to watch September 30: BT faces £600m compensation claim, partnerships galore, new “Black Storm” threat for CSPs

Capacity shares 5 key stories from around the world making headlines today!

Courts give green light for £600m compensation claim against BT

The British courts have approved a bid to launch a £600 million class-action compensation claim against BT on behalf of 2.31 million customers it has allegedly overcharged.

In 2017, Ofcom investigated BT and discovered that the telecoms company had been overcharging landline customers. BT agreed to reduce the future bills of these customers but did not compensate them for past overcharging.

Earlier this year, Justin Le Patourel, founder of CALL (Collective Action on Land Lines) launched Justin Le Patourel v BT Group Plc and British Telecommunications Plc in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

This week the courts approved the bid subject to a full trial, and if successful, the claimants could receive up to £500 each.

Le Patourel said: “We think that these customers could be entitled to a substantial repayment of up to £500 each. This decision is a great step in the right direction, and we look forward to the full trial, where we will continue fighting for BTs loyal and mistreated customers.”

BT strongly disagrees with the decision. The company said in a statement: “We strongly disagree with the speculative claim being brought against us and will consider all available options as we review the preliminary ruling on the procedural matter of certification.

“We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously and will defend ourselves against any claim that suggests otherwise.

Nexusguard research uncovers new “Black Storm” threat to service providers

A new cyber threat dubbed “Black Storm” could wreak havoc on communications service provider (CSP) networks, according to research from Nexusguard.

Nexusguard’s latest published research describes a Black Storm attack that can leverage any device connected to the internet.

Titled ‘Nexusguard: A New Threat to CSP Networks – The Impending Black Storm’, the analysis indicates that Black Storm attacks could be manifested by hackers employing a BlackNurse attack in a reflective manner.

“The potential risk from impending Black Storm attacks could obliterate individual enterprises and have devastating consequences for communications service providers and completely saturate their networks,” warned Juniman Kasman, chief technology officer for Nexusguard.

“Networks targeted by these attacks need to apply deep learning intelligence in order to analyse traffic patterns and identify Black Storm attacks well before they can be exploited.”

CityFibre continues rollout with expansion of Bechtel partnership

CityFibre has expanded its partnership with Bechtel to support the continued acceleration of its rollout to around one-third of the UK market by 2025.

Bechtel’s team have been integrated into CityFibre’s organisational structure since September 2020. This enables the mobilisation of its 25 network construction partners and allows the company to manage more than 60 parallel full town and city builds.

The new agreement formalises a five-year extension to the partnership and will fully leverage Bechtel’s mega-project expertise in project controls, construction management, contracts management, and environment, safety and health.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre said: "It's a pleasure to be extending our alliance with Bechtel after a hugely successful year as partners.

"Over the last twelve months, they have worked in lockstep with our teams to deliver an extraordinary acceleration of our rollout.

“This pace will only increase as we commence new projects and maximise the productivity of each build.”

OQ Technology and GovSat collaborate on IoT products for defence and government sectors

OQ Technology and GovSat have signed a deal to develop and test satellite-based IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) products aimed at defence and government sectors in Luxembourg.

Under the agreement, OQ Technology will provide user terminals, satellite hub equipment and remote management capabilities.

The company said it will also re-design its satellite IoT user terminal to fit the GovSat frequency band, and it will upgrade the antenna of its user terminal.

Omar Qaise, founder and CEO of OQ Technology said: “To successfully provide 5G IoT and machine communication to critical satcom applications in the defence and the government sector, it became evident that we had to partner with a specialised GEO operator.

“GovSat, due to its application know-how and experience of delivering secure, non-preemptible, reliable and accessible satellite communication services, is the perfect partner to achieve this.”

IFC and the Telecom Infra Project partner to advance digital connectivity in emerging markets

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) have announced a partnership aimed at deploying new and more cost-effective cellular networks, particularly in areas of the world that are unconnected.

The companies are coming together to accelerate the deployment of Network as a Service (NaaS) solutions that leverage innovative technologies and business models to help close the digital divide – especially in emerging markets.

TIP says it will work closely with IFC to ensure financial, environmental, and social sustainability take a central role in the deployment of digital infrastructure.

The IFC will make available its structuring capabilities and experience in investing in such sectors in emerging markets to participants of the TIP NaaS Solutions Group.

German Cufre, global manager for telecom, media and technology investments at IFC said: "IFC welcomes the partnership with TIP to work together on developing and funding practical solutions that enable further connectivity in emerging markets. Innovation is necessary to lower the breakeven point in network deployment, increase affordability and narrow the digital divide and NaaS can play an important role in this regard."