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UK digital department creates dedicated team to support data centre sector through coronavirus

Written by Thu 26 Mar 2020

Trade body techUK has worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to create a data centre resiliency team that will inform the government about the importance of the UK data centre infrastructure

Tech trade body techUK has released a new update detailing how it is working with the UK government to support the nation’s data centre sector in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks techUK has lobbied on behalf of the industry to ensure that data centre infrastructure was explicitly mentioned in a list of key workers that would be permitted to travel freely in the event of a nationwide lockdown.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new measures on Monday stating that people can only leave their homes to buy food or medication, exercise once daily, or travel to work if absolutely necessary.

Working together with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), techUK has revealed it has also helped to create a dedicated data centre resiliency team that will convey the vital role played by data centre infrastructure in the UK.

The DCMS Data Infrastructure Resilience Team has set up an inbox for data centre operators, customers and suppliers to email any questions they have about their rights and responsibilities during the lockdown, expected to be enforced for a further three weeks.

techUK said it is working closely with DCMS to ensure the team provides “a two-way conduit”  for sharing industry information to aid government decision making and policy communication in the coming weeks.

In addition, the trade body said it will continue to compile a more detailed list of workers that should be included in the government’s list of key workers.

“Our immediate focus is to ensure continued access for critical staff in the event of tighter restrictions on movement without compromising government objectives to restrict anything but essential activity,” techUK said in a statement.

techUK has worked closely with the data centre sector in recent weeks to produce a list of guidelines for how to limit infection and ensure continuity of service. These include reducing onsite personnel to only business-critical staff, strict sanitary measures, and employee monitoring and screening.

 

Written by Thu 26 Mar 2020

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