UK's best and worst locations for broadband speeds revealed

Despite pledges by the Government to ensure a bare minimum connection speed of 10 Megabits per second, 12 local authority areas are failing reach this level
Households across the UK are still lumbered with substandard broadband and Scotland is the worst-affected region for slow internet connections, new research has found.
The consumer group Which? has revealed the best and worst performing areas of the country and the bottom three – the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and the Highlands – are all north of the border.
Tamworth in the West Midlands took the top spot for fastest average internet connection, followed by Reading, Adur in West Sussex, Enfield and Dundee.
Read more Welsh village completely cut off from the web finally gets broadband Despite pledges by the Government to ensure a bare minimum connection speed of 10 Megabits per second, Which? found that 12 local authority areas are failing reach this level.
Most of the local authority areas with the slowest connections..

Number of zero hours contracts rises by 100,000 in 2017, says ONS

There were 1.8 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum numbers of hours in the year to November 2017. The equivalent number in November 2016 was 1.7 million
The number of zero hour contracts in the UK labour market rose by around 100,000 last year according to the Office for National Statistics.
The agency reported that in its latest survey of firms there were 1.8 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum numbers of hours in the year to November 2017. The equivalent number in November 2016 was 1.7 million.
Read more The Taylor review fails to address underlying workplace problems However, as a share of all contracts, the proportion of zero hours contracts was unchanged at 6 per cent.
The ONS also said that the survey that collected the data changed from being voluntary to compulsory between the two periods, meaning that the year-on-year comparison should be “treated with caution”.
The highest number of zero hour contracts recorded by the survey was 2.1 milli..

Capita shares jump as it unveils plans to raise £701m from shareholders to restructure

Rising costs and contract problems have hit the company hard over the past year
Outsourcing group Capita’s shares rose at the open despite the firm reporting widening losses as it unveiled plans to raise £701m to fund a restructure.
The company, which carries out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the government and also runs the London congestion charge scheme, posted a 4 per cent drop in revenue to £4.12bn from £4.27bn in 2016.
The pre-tax loss widened to £513m from a loss of £90m the year before, and the operating loss also widened to £420m, from £16m. The firm slashed its dividend by 65 per cent to 11.1p, compared with 31.7p in 2016.
Read more Here's what Capita does and what you need to know about the firm The group put its widening losses down to contract difficulties and increased costs, and said it “does not expect to be able to offset these challenges through the benefit of cost actions and new business wins”.
Instead, the group will restructure to “bec..

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway

State and Local Jobs Under Siege as a Middle-Class Gateway
OKLAHOMA CITY — The anxiety and seething anger that followed the disappearance of middle-income jobs in factory towns has helped reshape the American political map and topple longstanding policies on tariffs and immigration.
But globalization and automation aren’t the only forces responsible for the loss of those reliable paychecks. So is the steady erosion of the public sector.
For generations of Americans, working for a state or local government — as a teacher, firefighter, bus driver or nurse — provided a comfortable nook in the middle class. No less than automobile assembly lines and steel plants, the public sector ensured that even workers without a college education could afford a home, a minivan, movie nights and a family vacation.
In recent years, though, the ranks of state and local employees have languished even as the populations they serve have grown. They now account for the smallest share of the American civilian..

Tariff Dodgers Stand to Profit Off U.S.-China Trade Dispute

Tariff Dodgers Stand to Profit Off U.S.-China Trade Dispute SHANGHAI — Want to avoid American tariffs? In China, a company called Settle Logistics says it knows a way.
Specifically, that way goes through Malaysia — a 4,600-mile diversion compared with sending a shipping container from China straight across the Pacific to the United States. But when those Chinese products arrive at an American port, they will look as if they had come from Malaysia, according to the company, and will be spared tariffs aimed at Chinese goods.
“For those unfair trade barriers targeting our industries from certain countries,” Settle Logistics says on its website, “we can adopt other approaches to bypass those trade tariffs in order to expand markets.”
Such zigzagging routes are called transshipments, and President Trump has used them to justify the trade fight he has picked with a number of countries. They could also take on new relevance should the United States and China carry out their threats to levy a ..

Business leaders who want to succeed need to embrace their human side

Sometimes company bosses need to scrap the expensive advice
One of the questions I’m often forced to ponder in the course of my work is why some companies succeed and others do not.
I don’t mean financially, although that helps, but in the reputational sense. They appear to have an easy rapport with the public, with their shareholders, with the business media, with politicians and with regulators. When things sometimes go wrong, as they inevitably do, they can easily be forgiven. For others, by contrast, an error is widely regarded as another negative, sometimes fatally so.
For the first group, they can turn even the very worst into good, not cynically and exploitatively, but naturally. For the latter, it may prove to be the final blow, for the senior management or the brand, or both – the executives destined never to recover their personal reputations.
Read more London falls out of top 10 most expensive business travel destinations What’s the most traumatic event to befall an o..

AT&T and Verizon under investigation over possible collusion to stop people switching phone provider

The Department of Justice is investigating potential efforts by AT&T and Verizon to hamstring a technology that could make it easier for consumers to seamlessly switch their wireless carriers, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The probe appears to focus on whether those companies – perhaps in a bid to stop their subscribers from jumping ship to rivals – colluded to undermine so-called eSIM cards, a technology that could someday allow the owners of smartphones, smart watches or other devices to change their service provider on their own, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to speak freely about the probe, which has not been made public.
If the US government ultimately determines that AT&T and Verizon harmed competitors or consumers, it could result in major fines or other penalties.
Verizon Executive Vice President, Hans Vestberg, speaks during a keynote discussion on 5G and mobile innovation during CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/G..