Tech Digest daily roundup: Telcos square up for fight with Big Tech


Britain is set to become a key battleground over net neutrality as telecoms companies square up for a fight with Big Tech over who should pay to upgrade the nation’s phone infrastructure. Following an Ofcom consultation last year which hinted at an “overhaul” of the UK’s net neutrality rules, telecoms companies have been on manoeuvres to convince legislators here and in Brussels that new laws are needed to force tech companies to fund their network upgrades.  Whether it’s the latest episode of House of the Dragon or the Rings of Power, behind the crystal-clear picture on your phone or tablet is an increasingly advanced and expensive series of computer networks. Telegraph

Beijing and Taipei have spoken out after Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said Taiwan should become a special administrative zone of China. The world’s richest man said in a Financial Times interview he believed the two governments could reach a “reasonably palatable” arrangement. China’s ambassador to the US praised Musk but his Taiwanese counterpart said freedom is “not for sale”. Taiwan rules itself but Beijing claims it as part of its territory. Last week, Mr Musk also drew criticism for posting a Twitter poll with his suggestions for ending the war between Russia and Ukraine, including Kyiv giving up territory to Moscow. BBC 

A human-looking robot painter that composed a painting of the late Queen Elizabeth II will appear in front of the House of Lords this week, to give a speech and address AI’s growing threat to the UK’s creative industries. The robot, named Ai-Da after mathematician Ada Lovelace, will speak to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, as part of an inquiry into the future of the arts in the country. Ai-Da was created by Aidan Meller, an Oxford art dealer, before being assembled in Cornwall by Engineered Arts with international programming support. Yahoo!

A total of 22 UK-based scientists have now decided to leave Britain rather than lose their EU research funding, as uncertainty continues around the future of Research and Development (R&D) support post-Brexit. Scientists and engineers have told Sky News the UK’s position as a world leader in research is at risk from “significant brain drain” amid doubts about what will replace funding after negotiations with the European Union stalled. The UK was negotiating a deal to remain in the EU’s £84billion Horizon Europe funding programme. Sky News

At least one Apple Store in the UK is anticipating an unusually high volume of footfall in the fall and holiday period of next year, a time frame that is expected to include the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup. Employees at Apple Milton Keynes have been told that they may not take any leave between September 15, 2023 and October 7, 2023, and December 2, 2023 and the start of January 2024. Requests for time off during this “embargo” period will not be authorized by store managers. While increased footfall in retail stores is always expected in the fall around the launch of new Apple devices, especially new iPhone models, and during the holiday period, the latest instruction appears to be an distinct change of protocol in the region. Mac Rumors

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to