Despite Political Uncertainty, London’s Digital Growth Shows No Signs of Slowing as Capital Accounts For Over 35% of Interconnection Bandwidth Growth in Europe
Digital transformation is accelerating for every company in every industry, everywhere around the world.
As a part of this necessary transition, people, software and machines are creating and consuming data faster and in more distributed locations than ever before, creating dissonance and driving businesses to private and direct Interconnection to solve their complex integration challenges.
According to the second annual Global Interconnection Index (the “GXI”), a market study published by Equinix that analyses traffic exchange globally, Interconnection, or direct and private traffic exchange between key business partners, is becoming the defacto method for companies to operate in today’s digital world. Interconnection Bandwidth provisioned for this purpose is forecasted to grow by 2021 to 8,200+ Terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity, or the equivalent of 33 Zettabytes (ZB) of data exchange per year, a dramatic increase over the previous year’s projection and ten times the projected capacity of internet traffic1. This represents a significant five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48%, almost double the expected 26% CAGR of global IP Traffic.
The second annual GXI reveals that Europe is projected to lose its second space spot behind America to Asia. Although Europe’s Interconnection Bandwidth is still growing fast (48% CAGR) and expected to contribute to 23% of Interconnection Bandwidth globally by 2021, Asia is not only projected to overtake Europe, contributing to 27% of global Interconnection Bandwidth, but will grow faster at 51% CAGR. America still holds the top spot, and is projected to have the largest capacity for Interconnection Bandwidth globally, contributing to more than 40% of global Interconnection Bandwidth by 2021. Latin America is on track to be the fastest growing market, with a CAGR of 59%.
Across Europe, Interconnection Bandwidth in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris are expected to outgrow other European markets by at least 10% CAGR. Frankfurt and Amsterdam are both projected to outpace London in terms of growth. London’s Interconnection Bandwidth will grow by 52% CAGR, Frankfurt by 58% and Amsterdam by 57%. The wholesale and retail trade sectors are expected to have the fastest growing Interconnection Bandwidth in Europe (75% CAGR). The securities and trading sectors, along with healthcare and life sciences, will have the joint second fastest growing (69% CAGR). Both the business and professional services industries, and banking and insurance industries, are projected to grow rapidly, with 65% and 66% CAGR of Interconnection Bandwidth respectively.
“Significant macro, technology and regulatory trends are converging to form an unprecedented era of complexity and risk and forcing the integration of physical and digital worlds,” said Sara Baack, Chief Marketing Officer for Equinix, Inc. “The second volume of the Global Interconnection Index has found that companies are solving their increasing digital requirements by directly connecting to key business partners through Interconnection, as traditional forms of connectivity do not meet the demanding requirements of today’s businesses.”
“Despite Brexit and political uncertainty in the UK, the GXI reveals that London is projected to show strong growth, accounting for more than 35% of Europe’s Interconnection Bandwidth growth,” states Russell Poole, Managing Director UK at Equinix, Inc. “London’s digital acceleration shows that post-Brexit, Interconnection Bandwidth continues to be driven by the secular growth of global data traffic and the massive shift in IT to support this data explosion. Equinix’s 12 data centres across the UK and the recent expansion of Equinix’s LD4 data centre in Slough, is an example of the continued investment and growth in London’s digital sector.”
Some of the key macroeconomic, technology and regulatory trends that have driven Interconnection growth in the past year and will impact its future growth include:
- Digital Business Transformation, which drives the need to support real-time interactions between people, things, locations, clouds and data to enable value capture. At least 50% of global GDP will be digitised by 2021, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships2.
- Cybersecurity Risk, which expands Interconnection consumption as firms increasingly shift to private data traffic exchange to bypass the public internet and mitigate against digital threats as data is distributed across a growing number of vulnerability points. Large-scale cybersecurity breaches are one of the most serious risks facing the world today, and the scale of the threat is expanding drastically. By 2021, the global cost of cybersecurity breaches is projected to reach US$6 trillion3.
- Business Ecosystems, which are experiencing an increase in mix of customers, partners and employees and require digital ecosystems and Interconnection to scale. By 2021, organisations using a mix of intermediaries are projected to more than double, and active engagement with industries outside the organisation’s native industry are projected to nearly triple4.
In a separate independent study commissioned by Equinix of 133 senior IT professionals across the UK, over three quarters (77%) of senior IT professionals believe that as the public internet becomes more saturated, Interconnection is key to digital business success. Despite Brexit, 64% of the senior IT decision-makers surveyed think that due to the flourishing data centre industry in the UK, the UK is still the best place in Europe to Interconnect with partners, customers, supply chain and cloud service providers.
To capture digital value, companies will need to support real-time interactions by more strategically interconnecting the workflows across people, things, locations, cloud and data. The second volume of the GXI identifies four classes of Interconnection use cases5 along with an IT maturity model. Adopted in combination, these use cases create a digital-ready infrastructure for today’s businesses:
- Network Optimisation to shorten the distance between users and services applications.
- Hybrid Multicloud to connect and segment traffic between multiple clouds and private infrastructure.
- Distributed Security to deploy and interconnect security controls at points of digital engagement.
- Distributed Data to deploy and interconnect data analytics in proximity to users.
“The explosive global demand for streaming video content, has meant that Content Delivery Management (CDM) companies have had to turn to cloud in order to survive” said Ben Foakes, Managing Director at BASE Media Cloud. “And as cloud becomes a vital component to the media and entertainment industry, so does Interconnection. BASE Media Cloud and its customers will only be able to meet this rapidly increasing demand for video data by leveraging Interconnection. This year’s GXI highlights the importance of our relationship with Equinix, as by 2021 Interconnection Bandwidth among CDM companies is set to increase at a 41% CAGR.”
Highlights/ Key Facts
- The GXI provides significant insight into regional differences in how growth in Interconnection Bandwidth is accelerating in different regions of the world.
- United States: As an early adoption market for digital business and the headquarters for the largest number of multinational enterprises, the United States is expected to see compound growth of 45% per annum, contributing more than 40% of Interconnection Bandwidth globally.
- Europe: A growing number of regulations requiring data compliance is serving as a catalyst of growth for Europe, which is predicted to grow 48% per annum, contributing to 23% of Interconnection Bandwidth globally.
- Asia-Pacific: Benefiting from rapid urbanisation and home to many of the largest digital content providers, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow 51% per annum, contributing more than 27% of Interconnection Bandwidth globally.
- Latin America: Emerging market dynamics and growing digital business adoption positions Latin America for expected 59% per annum growth, contributing more than 9% of Interconnection Bandwidth globally.
- The GXI also forecasts Interconnection Bandwidth growth by counterparty categories, estimating the Interconnection behavior of each. Surpassing all other categories, Interconnection between Enterprises and Cloud and IT Providers is projected to grow 98% per annum through 2021, supporting businesses building out new digital services and migrating existing workloads to third-party cloud platforms.
Industry Perspectives on the Global Interconnection Index
- Eric Hanselman, Chief Analyst at 451 Research
“As enterprises chart their paths to greater digitisation, they seek pathways that avoid the turbulence generated by the growing complexity of integrating various digital services. New architectures anchored by Interconnection smooth this complexity and, increasingly, enterprises are finding that they also yield improvements in security, performance and capacity. Equinix’s Global Interconnection Index provides useful insight into these digital trends including why businesses are directly connecting with strategic partners to build their digital business ecosystems.”
- Christopher Purves, Head of Strategic Development Lab at UBS
“The majority of FX Spot trading is already electronic, and we see the ratio of digital business increasing at pace across other asset classes. Maintaining low latency is critical to our digital business, with fast, reliable networks provided by Interconnection forming a core part of that mission.”
- David Hicks, Vice President of WW, ISV, OEM and Java Business Development at Oracle:
“As enterprises increasingly adopt hybrid cloud architectures to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, Interconnection is a proven design strategy for reaching cloud services such as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in an efficient manner. Direct and private interconnection to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect network connectivity platform helps provide predictable and consistent performance, isolation and availability.”
Exclusive: India woos Tesla with offer of cheaper production costs than China
By Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is ready to offer incentives to ensure Tesla Inc’s cost of production would be less than in China if the carmaker commits to making its electric vehicles in the south Asian country, transport minister Nitin Gadkari told Reuters.
Gadkari’s pitch comes weeks after billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla registered a company in India in a step towards entering the country, possibly as soon as mid-2021. Sources familiar with the matter have said Tesla plans to start by importing and selling its Model 3 electric sedan in India.
“Rather than assembling (the cars) in India they should make the entire product in the country by hiring local vendors. Then we can give higher concessions,” Gadkari said in an interview, without giving details of what incentives would be on offer.
“The government will make sure the production cost for Tesla will be the lowest when compared with the world, even China, when they start manufacturing their cars in India. We will assure that,” he said.
India wants to boost local manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs), batteries and other components to cut costly imports and curb pollution in its major cities.
This comes amid a global race by carmakers to jump-start EV production as countries work towards cutting carbon emissions.
But India faces a big challenge to win a production commitment from Tesla, which did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment about its plans in the country.
India’s fledgling EV market accounted for just 5,000 out of a total 2.4 million cars sold in the country last year as negligible charging infrastructure and the high cost of EVs deterred buyers.
In contrast, China, where Tesla already makes cars, sold 1.25 million new energy passenger vehicles, including EVs, in 2020 out of total sales of 20 million, and accounted for more than a third of Tesla’s global sales.
India also doesn’t have a comprehensive EV policy like China, the world’s biggest auto market, which mandates companies to invest in the sector.
Gadkari said that as well as being a big market, India could be an export hub, especially with about 80% of components for lithium-ion batteries being made locally now.
“I think it’s a win-win situation for Tesla,” Gadkari said, adding he also wanted to engage with Tesla about building an ultra high-speed hyperloop between Delhi and Mumbai.
India is drawing up a production-linked incentive scheme for auto and auto component makers as well as for setting up advanced battery manufacturing units, but the details are yet to be finalised.
Switching to cleaner sources of energy and reducing vehicle pollution are seen as essential for India to meet its Paris Accord climate commitments.
India last year introduced tougher emission rules for carmakers to bring them up to international standards. It is now looking at tightening fuel efficiency rules from April 2022, which industry executives say may compel some automakers to add electric or hybrid vehicles to their portfolios.
Battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry says it needs longer to make the transition.
Gadkari said he was not directly responsible for making the decision on whether to delay, but was confident India would meet its Paris treaty commitments without disrupting economic growth.
“Development and environment will go hand in hand. We will take some time but we will soon reach the international standard norms,” he said.
(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah. Editing by Mark Potter)
Is it legal for an employer force an employee to have the COVID vaccine?
By Amanda Hamilton, CEO, National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Can you force your staff to have the vaccine before they return to work? Quite simply, no, not legally!
Despite the claims of some of the anti-vaxxers, there is no law in the UK which requires mandatory vaccination. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 devolves powers to Parliament to legislate in order to protect UK Citizens. The law enables Parliament to intervene in an emergency situation, such as the pandemic, and impose lockdowns and restrictions to protect citizens, but it cannot impose mandatory vaccinations.
In other words, there is no power to make vaccinations mandatory. This raises a whole host of issues – from human rights to equality – and balances them against the rights of others to be safe in their workplace. In addition, it raises issues around the possible criminal implications of forcing someone to be vaccinated against their will.
Potential criminal implications: The Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 s20 states that an unlawful wounding would occur if a person were forced to have a vaccination against their will. A wound means ‘a break of the skin’. This statute still remains in force today.
Human Rights and Equality: Compulsory medical treatment or testing is contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights meaning that it is a human right to refuse medical treatment if you wish to do so. Refusing medical treatment could be because of deeply held religious or other beliefs, and this brings into play the Equality Act 2010. This statute states an individual is protected from discrimination from nine possible characteristics including: age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sex.
So, an employer cannot force an employee to be vaccinated. But can that employer dismiss an employee for refusing the vaccine?
Again, simply no. If they did, then it would amount to an unfair dismissal and the employee could justifiably take the employer to an employment tribunal for discrimination. The case would be brought under the Equality Act 2010 in that the claimant’s refusal to be vaccinated is founded on a fundamental belief or on religious grounds. It would of course, be for the claimant to prove that she/he has such beliefs.
And it would be exactly the same if the claimant felt that they were being victimised, because of their belief, to such an extent that they felt that they could not continue being in the employ of the employer, and consequently, resigned. This would amount to constructive dismissal. The result being the same as if the employer had dismissed the employee – an employment tribunal case could ensue for unfair dismissal.
So how on earth can an employer manage such a situation if there is a statutory duty to provide a safe environment for employees in the workplace? The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places the responsibility on employers to protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ at work of all employees and includes others on the premises such as temps, contractors and visitors.
This appears to be in contradiction to the premise that it is an individual’s right to refuse the vaccine. The only way to manage this is to impose certain guidelines on employees such as those we are all asked to follow during the current pandemic, e.g. social distancing, mask wearing and sanitising/hand washing etc.
It may also be prudent to find alternative work for the employee until it is safe for them to return. A reasonable solution such as this should be acceptable to an employee. If not, and the employee brings an unfair dismissal case against the employer for constructive dismissal on the basis of discrimination, then a Tribunal, hearing such a case would weigh up the rights of the claimant to refuse the vaccine, with the nature of the work they do, the alternatives offered to them, and how many others would be put at risk, if they were to continue in their role without vaccination. In other words, they would look at the situation and apply a test of reasonability.
Lastly, can an employer insist that their staff tell them whether or not they have been vaccinated?
If you can demonstrate that asking them to be vaccinated is a reasonable management instruction, then asking them for this information will also be reasonable. However, just as you can’t force them to be vaccinated, you also can’t force them to reveal their vaccination status. Again, equality laws will come into play if there is a risk that revealing their vaccination status will result in discrimination within the workplace.
If they do agree to tell you then this will constitute sensitive personal health data and you’ll need to comply with GDPR. The same applies to information about who has not been vaccinated and why.
Generally, the best policy is one of unambiguous communication. Explain why you’d like staff to be vaccinated and why you’d like the information about their status. Give them an opportunity to discuss this privately with you or your HR department, and look at ways to mitigate the risks and offer alternative working options. This way you have done your best to provide the right working environment, have kept staff informed and engaged in the process and ultimately reduced the chances of a successful Tribunal claim.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Hamilton is Chief Executive of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP), a non-profit Membership Body and the only Paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England). Through its Centres, accredited recognised professional paralegal qualifications are offered for a career as a paralegal professional.
UK’s Taylor Wimpey sees recovery building in 2021 after good start
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
(Reuters) – Britain’s third-largest homebuilder Taylor Wimpey reported a strong start to the year on Tuesday and forecast a recovery in sales and margins in 2021 after a slump in 2020.
The group also earmarked 125 million pounds ($174 million) for fire safety work on its developments amid a nationwide drive to improve building safety following a deadly tower block fire in London in 2017.
The FTSE 100 firm said it expected to develop fewer affordable homes than usual this year, with a higher proportion of more profitable private homes, which would help improve its operating margin.
Its shares were trading 2.2% higher at 1000 GMT.
“The key news is that they are talking better on the operating margin for 2021, recent trade has been resilient … and all looks in pretty good shape,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Aynsley Lammin.
Taylor Wimpey said it expected 2021 operating margin to rise to between 18.5% and 19% after it tumbled to 10.8% in 2020 from 19.6% a year earlier.
Britain is expected to extend a tax break on home purchases by three months and unveil a mortgage guarantee scheme in Wednesday’s budget, moves that could bolster the housebuilding sector after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled an exit plan from coronavirus lockdowns.
Taylor Wimpey, which has operations in Britain and Spain, joined rivals Barratt and Persimmon in setting aside funds to meet new fire safety regulations introduced after a deadly fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017.
The group made pretax profit of 264.4 million pounds ($367 million) last year, down 68.4% from a year earlier and just below analysts’ average forecast of 267 million in a company-provided poll. Revenue fell about 37% to 2.79 billion pounds.
It resumed dividend payments, with a final payout of 4.14 pence per share.
($1 = 0.7202 pounds)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru. Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Mark Potter)
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