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Thus pips BT to £70m Scottish broadband project

Scottish telco Thus has beaten BT in a race to be picked as the preferred bidder for a £70m project to wire up schools, libraries and other council buildings with speedier broadband services. The Highlands and Islands Pathfinder Broadband Procurement Project - which will deliver "a very high speed broadband services to more …
Tim Richardson, 30 Jun 2006
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AOL UK chalks up 100k LLU lines

AOL has unbundled more than 100,000 broadband lines since it kicked off investment in local loop unbundling (LLU) earlier this year. So far the ISP - which is the subject of much media speculation concerning the possible sale of its access business - has installed its kit in around 200 BT exchanges and migrated more than 100, …
Tim Richardson, 30 Jun 2006
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China targets blogs

China has launched yet another crackdown on the country's net users after officials said that blogs and search engines would "undergo strict supervision of the government". State media reports that China has already taken measures to "purify the environment of internet and mobile communication network" and plans to have this " …
Tim Richardson, 30 Jun 2006
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3! inks! deal! with! Yahoo!

3 is to give its punters unrestricted access to the wibbly wobbly web following a deal with Yahoo!. The 3G phone outfit has signed a global agreement with the internet giant to use its mobile internet services. The pair will work together to offer 3's punters services such as Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mobile Web, Yahoo! Messenger …
Tim Richardson, 29 Jun 2006
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EC proposes massive telco shake-up

The European Commission (EC) could be on a collision course with Europe's biggest telcos after publicly backing the idea of breaking-up incumbent operators. Speaking last night, Viviane Reding, the commissioner responsible for Information Society and Media, said she planned to publish proposals that that would "for the first …
Tim Richardson, 28 Jun 2006
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BT wants more women engineers

Openreach - BT's access services division - has launched a major recruitment drive to tempt more women to become phone engineers. According to correspondence published recently by regulator Ofcom, BT has a shortfall of several hundred engineers needed to carry out essential work. The "Open2all" initiative unveiled today is …
Tim Richardson, 27 Jun 2006
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Kiwi Telecom to split retail and wholesale operations

Telecom New Zealand (Telecom) has announced plans to create an "independent wholesale operation" in a bid to promote telecoms competition. Today's confirmation that Telecom plans to separate its wholesale and retail operations follows growing speculation about the future of the Kiwi incumbent after the government raised …
Tim Richardson, 27 Jun 2006
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Fasthosts floored by Telewest cable cut

Fasthosts - which describes itself as the "UK's number 1 web host" and "home to more websites than any other provider" - has blamed Telewest's network blackout yesterday for its service going titsup for around 10 hours. But in a move to prevent such an outage hitting the firm again it announced plans to carry out a network …
Tim Richardson, 26 Jun 2006
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BT hooks up with KDDI for Japanese JV

BT is hooking up with Japanese telco KDDI to provide telecoms service to Japanese multinationals. Once up and running the new 50:50 joint venture will employ around 100 staff and draw on the resources of both operators. According to the latest stats, Japan is the world's second largest corporate market and "high on BT's …
Tim Richardson, 26 Jun 2006
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'Malicious damage' causes Telewest World Cup blackout

Around 100,000 homes in the Bristol area were left without TV or internet services yesterday after two cables were "maliciously damaged". Subscribers to the NTL:Telewest service lost their service at around 3pm yesterday afternoon - just an hour before England's crucial World Cup match against Ecuador. By around 4am this …
Tim Richardson, 26 Jun 2006
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UK telcos challenge 'next generation networks' trademark

Scottish telco Thus is calling on the UK telecoms industry to challenge a recent trademark registration of the term "next generation networks". The term is jargon commonly used by telcos to describe their next generation telecoms networks, such as BT's 21CN, which use digital technology to connect phone calls and other network …
Tim Richardson, 26 Jun 2006
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BT to distribute WorldGate videophones

BT has signed an agreement to distribute videophones from US outfit WorldGate to other telcos and operators, but the UK incumbent hasn't decided whether it will flog these to its own punters. According to a statement issued by WorldGate on Wednesday: "BT plc (BT) and WorldGate Communications Inc announced today that they have …
Tim Richardson, 23 Jun 2006
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Redstone snaps up Symphony Telecom for £17m

Redstone plc is to buy mobile outfit Symphony Telecom for about £17m as part of plans to expand its business in the UK. Symphony Telecom is a distributor of mobile and fixed line telecoms to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). It also acts as a distributor for all five mobile network operators within the UK. Once the …
Tim Richardson, 22 Jun 2006
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EC mulls cut in telco regulation - report

The European Commission (EC) is due to publish proposals next week that could free Europe's incumbent telcos from price controls and other forms of regulation. Draft proposals seen by the Financial Times talk of cutting regulation in seven of 18 telecoms markets. The proposals suggest price controls and other forms of …
Tim Richardson, 22 Jun 2006
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Tiscali clears email backlog

Tiscali UK says it has almost cleared a backlog of emails following a software snag that hit the ISP on Tuesday. The glitch meant that some people were unable to send email while others reported that emails were being delayed or even lost. A service status update posted on Tiscali's website yesterday afternoon read: "Some …
Tim Richardson, 22 Jun 2006
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Lycos.com tunes in to net TV

Lycos, Inc. has become the latest web outfit to jump on the internet TV bandwagon after announcing it has teamed up with US-based Permission TV to offer video content to the 25 million or so visitors to Lycos.com and its network of other sites. The portal outfit is currently holding talks to make TV shows and movies available …
Tim Richardson, 21 Jun 2006
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O2 says Be mine for £50m

O2 is splashing out £50m to buy tiddly LLU outfit Be as part of an ambitious plan to offer broadband alongside its own mobile services. Be only has about 10,000 customers - but that's not why O2 is buying the broadband operator. Instead, the cellco is interested in Be's infrastructure. Based on ADSL2+, Be's network offers …
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2006
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BT repackages broadband offering

BT has repackaged its broadband products in a bid to distance itself from the bundled offers that plug "free" broadband. Instead of competing head on with The Carphone Warehouse and Orange by matching their aggressive pricing, BT has decided to take a different approach that packs a whole stack of features into one monthly …
Tim Richardson, 20 Jun 2006
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Verizon sues Vonage in VoIP patent spat

US telecoms giant Verizon is suing Vonage over alleged patent infringements, the broadband telephony service confirmed today. Vonage Holdings Corp and its subsidiary Vonage America were served with the lawsuit, which relates to seven patents, by Verizon Services Corp and Verizon Laboratories. In a statement, Vonage said it " …
Tim Richardson, 19 Jun 2006
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Broadband numbers grow at Demon

Demon, the internet brand of Scottish telco Thus, saw the number of broadband subscribers jump 20 per cent over the last year to 110,000, helping to boost broadband revenues. Slap on a further 16,500 broadband punters adopted when Thus bought Your Communications and Legend Communications earlier this year, and Demon's broadband …
Tim Richardson, 19 Jun 2006
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DSG could offload The Link - report

DSG International could be about to offload its troubled mobile phone business to cellco O2. The Link is a joint venture between DSG (60 per cent) and O2 (40 per cent) and has been dogged by speculation about its future for months. The Guardian reports that an announcement could be made as early as this week when DSG - which …
Tim Richardson, 19 Jun 2006
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Consumers to flock to VoIP

The traditional home phone number could become a thing of the past as more and more people opt for fixed-mobile services and VoIP. That's according to analysts at Jupiter Research, who say location will cease to be important for either making or receiving telephone calls. Indeed, its research has found that three in ten …
Tim Richardson, 16 Jun 2006
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UK LLU hits half million

It's official - there are now half a million unbundled telephone lines in the UK and that number is growing by 20,000 new lines a week. So says BT Openreach - BT's access services division - which reckons the LLU market is beginning to mature. With nearly twenty operators providing unbundled services from almost 1,000 local …
Tim Richardson, 15 Jun 2006
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AOL mulls sale of European access business

AOL may be prepared to flog the internet access part of its business in Europe, but insists its whole operation is not up for sale. Comments made by chief exec Jonathan Miller yesterday have helped shed light on AOL's future strategy in Europe following the review of its business by bankers Citigroup. Speaking yesterday, …
Tim Richardson, 15 Jun 2006
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EU has rethink over roaming charges

The European Commission (EC) has watered down plans to force mobile operators in Europe to slash the cost of using a mobile phone abroad. The EC had wanted mobile users to be charged the same price for using their phone while abroad as they pay in their country of residence, according to proposals put forward by Commissioner …
Tim Richardson, 14 Jun 2006
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Telecom NZ execs visit BT

Execs from Telecom New Zealand (Telecom) visited BT and Ofcom last month to see what measures have been undertaken to improve telecoms competition in the UK. Industry onlookers reckon the visit shows that that Telecom is considering the idea of splitting its wholesale and retail businesses to head off criticism from its own …
Tim Richardson, 13 Jun 2006

IXEurope spends £15m on new London datacentre

IXEurope is to splash out around £15m to build a new datacentre in West London. The London Stock Exchange listed datacentre outfit said that once up and running next year, the "London4" centre will be IXEurope's fourth and largest datacentre in London. The site will offer roughly 6,500 square meters, with most of the £15m …
Tim Richardson, 13 Jun 2006
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Carphone loses broadband price cut battle

The Carphone Warehouse has failed in its bid to force BT to slash the cost of migrating fully unbundled broadband lines in bulk. The decision by Ofcom means that Carphone will have to shell out more cash to migrate each fully unbundled line than it had hoped, adding to its overheads. Earlier this year, Opal Telecom (part of …
Tim Richardson, 13 Jun 2006
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BT and Sky in chase for AOL UK - report

BSkyB and BT are reportedly close to making a bid for AOL UK although both firms are understood to be unhappy at the £1bn price tag. The Sunday Times reports that the deadline for offers could be as early as this week after AOL UK parent Time Warner called in bankers Citigroup to conduct a strategic review of its European …
Tim Richardson, 12 Jun 2006
channel

C&W moves to reassure wholesale resellers

Cable & Wireless (C&W) has apologised to some 200 reseller partners after sending out an email yesterday telling them that its Bulldog ISP would not be taking on any new residential or business customers. The email told of C&W's plans to pull out of residential broadband and instead concentrate on the provision of wholesale …
Tim Richardson, 09 Jun 2006
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BT confirms engineer visits to install broadband

BT has confirmed that customers will be able to book an engineer to visit their homes and businesses to install their BT Broadband connection. As reported by The Register last month, the engineer visit service is currently being trialled and is due to be launched later this summer. As part of the Home IT Visit service, punters …
Tim Richardson, 09 Jun 2006
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Music fans warned about buying gig tickets online

A consumer watchdog is warning music fans to take care when buying tickets online for music festivals and other events. Consumer Direct, the government's consumer advice service run by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), says punters have fewer rights when they buy privately and getting their money back when things go wrong can …
Tim Richardson, 09 Jun 2006
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C&W sets sights on one million wholesale LLU lines

Cable & Wireless (C&W) plans to supply one million unbundled broadband lines over the next couple of years as it changes tack to provide wholesale DSL. There are currently some 500,000 unbundled lines in the UK but that figure could hit more than two million this year according to some industry estimates. And while ISPs can …
Tim Richardson, 09 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

Times TV goes live

The Times has turned on its new online TV and video service backed by a "six-figure" deal with exclusive sponsor Cisco. A string of video clips including world news, business, sport and entertainment are available from content providers such as Reuters, punctuated by TV commercials. The newspaper - part of Rupert Murdoch's …
Tim Richardson, 08 Jun 2006
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Carphone keeps 'close eye' on AOL UK

The Carphone Warehouse has been named as a possible suitor for AOL UK should a strategic review of the ISP conclude that the business should be sold. The Times quoted Carphone boss Charles Dunstone saying he would be keeping a "close eye" on the sale of the AOL business, although he added that he felt "no pressure" to grow his …
Tim Richardson, 08 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

C&W pulls out of residential broadband

Cable & Wireless (C&W) is pulling out of the residential broadband market to concentrate instead on wholesale internet services. From 1 July, Bulldog will stop trying to sign up new punters although it insists that current customers will be supported, parent telco C&W announced today. In an email to customers this morning, …
Tim Richardson, 08 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

Openreach cuts wholesale broadband charges

BT has cut the cost of migrating end users onto unbundled networks in a move designed to give LLU yet another shot in the arm. Openreach - BT's standalone access services division set up earlier this year - said the new pricing would make it cheaper for local loop unbundling (LLU) operators to move their customers from BT …
Tim Richardson, 07 Jun 2006
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Tiscali pulls Juke Box music service

Tiscali says it has been forced to "turn off" its new Juke Box music service following a run-in with the European music industry. Last month, the European ISP unveiled details of its new p2p music service backed by US outfit Mercora, which lets people legally search for millions of tracks and share them using streaming …
Tim Richardson, 07 Jun 2006
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Times to flick switch on net TV

The Times is to launch an internet TV service later this week as part of a strategy to branch out into online and mobile content. Details of the venture, called Times TV, have yet to be revealed but Reuters reports that content would be provided by a number of different partners. The whole shebang is being sponsored by Cisco. …
Tim Richardson, 06 Jun 2006
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VoIP firm backs 'virtual' yacht race

A yachtswoman is acting out a bizarre "virtual" solo transatlantic voyage on a 40-foot racing trimaran - while being firmly anchored in the courtyard of Chelsea College of Art in London. Lia Ditton, 25, may already be an accomplished yachtswoman having already competed two transatlantic crossings, but she's also a performance …
Tim Richardson, 06 Jun 2006
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Carphone overwhelmed by 'free broadband' interest

The Carphone Warehouse has been blown away by the response to its "free broadband forever" promotion with demand for the bundled product exceeding its own forecasts. TalkTalk - Carphone's retail phone business - only launched its bundled offer of line rental, calls and broadband for £21 a month in April. Since then, some 340, …
Tim Richardson, 06 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

Line unbundling nears 500,000 milestone

Almost half a million phone lines have been unbundled in the UK as take-up of local loop unbundling (LLU) continues to accelerate. The latest monthly report from the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) reveals that the number of unbundled lines is now more than 471,000 with numbers growing each week. While the …
Tim Richardson, 05 Jun 2006
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Voda dogged by reports of shareholder revolt

Vodafone chief exec Arun Sarin is facing a challenge from some of the firm's biggest institutional shareholders who are concerned about boardroom splits at the top of the giant cellco. The Sunday Times reports that the shareholders plan to lobby other investors to back an "owners revolt" that could unseat Sarin and three or …
Tim Richardson, 05 Jun 2006
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Changing BT makes 'good start'

BT has made "a good start" meeting new regulatory obligations to provide the UK telecoms industry with equal access to its network. So says the Equality of Access Board (EAB), an independent body set up last year to monitor and scrutinise BT's organisation and to ensure that the incumbent telco meets 230 legally binding …
Tim Richardson, 01 Jun 2006
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AOL Europe COO refuses job switch

AOL Europe chief operating officer (COO) Stan Laurent is rumoured to have resigned amidst a row over the future direction of the internet giant. Staff were told last week that Laurent had decided not to take the top job in charge of AOL Europe's "Audience" operation, which looks after areas such as content and advertising. But …
Tim Richardson, 31 May 2006
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PlusNet slips out 'basic' broadband

PlusNet has slipped out a new entry level broadband product for a tenner a month. Its "Basic" product offers speeds of up to 8 meg but is aimed at people currently on a dial-up service, or those with no net access at all. For £9.99 a month, subscribers get 50 meg of usage. Additional time online can be purchased for 0.024p per …
Tim Richardson, 31 May 2006
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Orange confirms 'free' broadband giveaway

Orange has confirmed it will give "free" broadband to its mobile phone subscribers, ending weeks of hype and speculation. The France Telecom-owned cellco's offer is part of a massive rebranding exercise that sees Wanadoo tossed to one side and the ISP business renamed Orange. Or, as the firm puts it: "Orange today achieves a …
Tim Richardson, 31 May 2006
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Orange France does Triple Play

Orange France is offering a new triple play package of broadband, TV and phone for under €30 (£20.50) a month, according to information buzzing around newsgroups and French websites. The offer of 1 meg broadband, TV and unlimited phone is expected to cost €29.90 a month, while a similar package offering 8 meg broadband is …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
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Watch ads, get free calls says Virgin Mobile US

Virgin Mobile USA is giving hard-up youngsters the chance to make free phone calls in return for watching ads. The "yoof-oriented" cellco has hooked up with ad outfit Ultramercial to launch the ad-for-airtime service called "SugarMama". So far, Virgin Mobile USA - a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT dogged by Deutsche Telekom takeover talk

Shares in BT were down a smidgen today after weekend press speculation that the UK incumbent could be the takeover target of German giant Deutsche Telekom. Reports suggested that Deutsche Telekom was prepping a £25bn bid for BT with rumours fuelled still further by both firms' reluctance to comment. Now, though, The Telegraph …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006