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IT jobs under threat as Voda reports £15bn loss

Vodafone is to axe 400 jobs and outsource a stack of IT posts as part of sweeping plans to reduce costs. The changes are designed to save around £500m a year as Vodafone battles to keep a lid on spiralling costs. Exactly how many IT jobs are at risk remains unclear. Vodafone is already talking to potential outsourcing partners …
Tim Richardson, 30 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Cash handed out for recycling cellphones

A Cheshire-based firm has paid out more than £250,000 to punters recycling their old mobile phones since the beginning of the year. Envirofone.com either pays cash or offers punters credit that can be used at Argos for handing in old handsets. The firm then reconditions the handsets, if necessary, before sending them overseas …
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Viewers 'confused' by HDTV

TV viewers are confused about high definition TV (HDTV) with one in five not realising they need to buy an HD ready TV set to receive the crystal clear pictures. Half of those quizzed didn't realise they would also need a new HD set top box, while two thirds failed to twig they would also have to shell out for a monthly …
Tim Richardson, 26 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Ofcom chief exec to quit

Comment Stephen Carter is to stand down as chief exec of Ofcom after more than three years in the job. The former NTL boss will continue to be in charge of Ofcom until 15 October, but will cease to be involved in economic, competition, and policy decisions from the beginning of August. He will also be unable to scout around for a new …
Tim Richardson, 26 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT wins rights to show Premiership football

BT has won the right to show Premier League football "on demand" following an £84.3m joint bid with satellite TV broadcaster BSkyB. Exactly how much each company will pay is being kept under wraps. However, it is the most high profile content deal struck by the giant telco to date as it prepares for the autumn launch of its …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
The Register breaking news

C&W pumps up broadband spend

Cable & Wireless (C&W) is to capitalise on its investment in local loop unbundling (LLU) by providing unbundled services to its corporate customers. So far, C&W has installed its kit in 411 BT exchanges via Bulldog, its consumer-oriented broadband ISP, and expects this number to double by the end of September. But the telco is …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Nominet racks up 5m .uk domains

Nominet has registered five million .uk domains since it was founded ten years ago. The Oxford-based .uk domain name registry is marking this important milestone with a nostalgic look-back over the last decade. Did you know, for example, that Nominet registered 2,000 .uk registrations in its first month of operation in 1996? …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
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Employee discontent grows at 4uBusiness

Staff at troubled 4uBusiness - the SME-focused sibling of phone retailer Phones4u - fear the firm is being wound down, with devastating consequences for employees. Earlier this week, The Register reported that staff at 4uBusiness are "leaving in droves" and morale among workers has hit rock bottom. Now insiders at 4uBusiness, …
Tim Richardson, 25 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Email problems snag Legend Internet

Legend Internet is blaming a hardware failure for leaving customers without email since the weekend. Legend, which was acquired by Scottish telco Thus earlier this year, has already warned customers that "because of the nature of the mail server failure, delivery of mail sent prior to this time cannot be guaranteed before …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Evolution Broadband pulls service

London-based broadband ISP - Evolution Broadband Ltd - has decided to "stop providing ADSL service entirely" from next month. In an email to customers yesterday the firm urged customers to "migrate immediately" and warned that it could not "guarantee that service will be continued past 6th June 2006". The firm has already …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Fine phone slammers, says TSI

The head of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has called for "strong penalties" to combat mis-selling by telecoms companies. TSI chief exec Ron Gainsford said he is "concerned at the growing problem of telecoms mis-selling and would like to see strong penalties for misleading sales behaviour". His comments come on the …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT's 'honeymoon period' nearing end

BT has been warned that its "honeymoon period" is coming to an end after some telcos said they were still sceptical about changes designed to make the UK's telecoms sector more competitive and transparent. The warning was contained in that latest assessment of Openreach, BT's access services division created earlier this year …
Tim Richardson, 24 May 2006
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Staff at 4uBusiness 'leaving in droves'

Staff at 4uBusiness have been warned they face job losses following a decision to merge the business with Phones4u, both of which are owned by telecoms entrepreneur John Caudwell. Insiders have told The Register that staff "are leaving in droves" and that morale has hit rock bottom. They blame the impending sale of The Caudwell …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Execs back $2.4bn Eircom buy-out

The former head of BT's giant retail business in the UK is set to take a top job at Eircom after the Irish incumbent announced today that it is backing a $2.4bn (£1.64bn) bid for the business. Pierre Danon, the former chief exec of BT Retail, is due to become chairman of the Eircom once the deal is completed. In an …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
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Administrators go in at Supanet

Administrators have been called in to Burnley-based ISP Supanet Ltd. A notice published in the London Gazette, the official source of personal and corporate insolvency data in the UK, reports that Joint Administrators Martin Ellis, Andrew Hosking and Leslie Ross of Grant Thornton UK were appointed on 5 May. The Register has …
Tim Richardson, 23 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Technology 'misuse' leads to time-wasting at work

Misuse of office technology adds more than two hours to the average British working day, according to research released today by cableco NTL:Telewest. Its study found that far from improving productivity, email, voicemail, and the internet can all distract workers, leading to increased time wasting. The report said: " …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

T-Mobile cuts World Cup roaming charges

T-Mobile is slashing the cost of using a mobile in Germany for England football fans travelling to the World Cup. With up to 200,000 footie fans expected to travel to Germany over the next six weeks, the cellco - the "official mobile sponsor of the FIFA World Cup" - has cut roaming charges for Germany to 25p a minute for …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Voda Arcor sale off - report

Vodafone could be on the verge of signalling an about-turn in strategy amid reports that it plans to hang on to its fixed line phone business in Germany. The Times reports that Voda boss Arun Sarin is preparing to scrap the €1bn sale of Arcor as the giant cellco looks to embrace fixed line and broadband services. Voda's …
Tim Richardson, 22 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Sky HD installs delayed

Sky has delayed the installation date for thousands of its customers who are hoping to tune into High Definition (HD) TV in time for the World Cup. Supply problems with its new HD box means that 17,000 installation dates are being rescheduled to cope with the shortfall. Sky is blaming the delay on "an unforeseen and very late …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Virgin Mobile offers free beer and kebabs

Virgin Mobile is offering its gig-going punters free beer and kebabs this summer as part plans to be nice to its customers. Virgin Mobile punters attending certain youth-oriented events will be invited to text the word "beer" or "kebab" to a short code number. In return, they'll receive a text containing a voucher for two free …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Gremlins halt BT's 8 meg upgrade

The migration of thousands of people onto higher speed broadband services has been put on hold after BT admitted that a key system has been floored by a software glitch. ISPs have been gearing up to begin the mass migration of punters onto BT's new DSL Max service, which gives broadband users speeds of up to 8 meg. But …
Tim Richardson, 19 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT to offer home visits for broadband installs

BT customers who'd prefer not to install their own broadband connection can now get the giant telco to do it - for a price. It seems the monster telco is mulling the idea of charging punters around £50 a throw for a home visit. The firm currently has around 2.5m retail broadband punters, and reckons there's a market for an …
Tim Richardson, 18 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT yet to feel impact of the 'Carphone effect'

BT has seen "no impact" on its business following the much-hyped launch of Carphone Warehouse's "free broadband forever" product. A month ago Carphone confirmed the details of its new bundled phone, broadband and line rental service that at £20.99 a month all-in, was half the price of its nearest rival. But the UK's dominant …
Tim Richardson, 18 May 2006
The Register breaking news

NetServices 'suspends services' to Fast24

Manchester-based ISP NetServices has suspended the supply of wholesale broadband services to Suffolk-based Fast24. Exactly how many customers are affected remains unknown. However, an email issued yesterday afternoon from Maria Goggin, head of marketing at NetServices explained: "For reasons beyond NetServices' control, it is …
Tim Richardson, 18 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT backs city-wide Wi-Fi

BT is pressing ahead with plans to wire up six cities with wireless broadband access. It's already started in Cardiff, where BT Openzone hotspots have been installed in locations in the city centre, while in London's Westminster, BT has decided to expand an existing wireless network. Other cities on BT's "to do" list are …
Tim Richardson, 17 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Jessops lures Snapfish

Jessops is hooking up with Snapfish - HP's online photo processing service - to create a new photo processing website later this summer. The new online venture - Jessopsphotos.com - will offer a stack of services such pressie ideas, photo manipulation and online photo albums. Exact details of the service have yet to be released …
Tim Richardson, 17 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Govt messenger sacked for Kiwi LLU plan leak

A messenger working in the Prime Minister's office in New Zealand has been sacked for leaking details of Government plans to shake-up the country's broadband industry. Following an investigation, the State Services Commissioner found that messenger Michael Ryan had passed a cabinet document to his friend, and Telecom employee, …
Tim Richardson, 17 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Hospital phone charges 'extortionate' say patients

Nine in ten patients say the cost of using bedside phone systems in hospital are "extortionate" and that prices must come down. While many of the patients quizzed welcomed the convenience of the system, many said the charges for incoming calls were "exorbitant". A survey of 1,200 patients and visitors found deep resentment to …
Tim Richardson, 15 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Police probe BT break-in

BT has denied that a load of broadband TV kit has been nicked from its R&D centre at Adastral Park in Suffolk. According to industry whispers, thieves broke into Adastral Park a couple of weeks ago and lifted a load of gear relating to the telco's yet-to-be-launched broadband TV service "BT Vision". One insider told us that …
Tim Richardson, 15 May 2006
The Register breaking news

O2 explores fixed line options

Mobile outfit O2 - which was snapped up by Spanish telco Telefonica for £18bn last year - has confirmed it is chewing over the idea of entering the fixed line telecoms market in the UK. Earlier this month, it was reported that O2 was sniffing around Bulldog - the LLU operator owned by Cable & Wireless (C&W) - and Tiscali UK, as …
Tim Richardson, 12 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Tiscali UK joins millionaire broadband club

Tiscali UK has joined the exclusive "millionaires" club after revealing that at the end of March it had more than 1.08m broadband users. It joins NTL/Telewest, BT, and AOL as one of only a handful of ISPs to have notched up a million broadband subscribers in the UK. Orange, the new name for Wanadoo and Freeserve before that, …
Tim Richardson, 12 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Homechoice yet to hit play on network roll-out plans

Homechoice is trying to flog a "white label" version of its broadband TV service amid speculation that the national rollout of its network is on hold. Last November Video Networks - the firm behind Homechoice - announced plans to roll out its IPTV network beyond London and Stevenage during 2006, increasing the network's …
Tim Richardson, 12 May 2006
The Register breaking news

EU regulators back wholesale route to cut roaming charges

Europe's telecoms regulators have supported plans to cut roaming charges but believe this should be done by cutting the cost of wholesale charges rather than retail prices. The European Commission (EC) has already announced plans to regulate the amount cellcos can charge punters while using their phone overseas. Four weeks ago …
Tim Richardson, 11 May 2006
The Register breaking news

German ISP snaps up UK's Fasthosts

Fasthosts - the Gloucestershire-based internet firm that brags that it's the "UK's number 1 web host " - is to be snapped up by German outfit United Internet AG. The all-cash takeover values Fasthosts at £61.5m. In a statement United Internet - which provides "premium" net services to home users and SMEs - is part of the firm' …
Tim Richardson, 10 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Ofcom fudge fails to protect consumers from mis-selling

Ofcom has made a half-hearted attempt to name and shame telcos that have been reported for slamming and other mis-selling. The communications regulator has published a document entitled "Information about per-provider slamming and mis-selling complaints", after being forced to reveal the data to the Mail on Sunday following a …
Tim Richardson, 09 May 2006
The Register breaking news

NTL confirms 6,000 job losses

NTL has confirmed it is to axe around 6,000 UK jobs while outsourcing a "significant number" as part of its merger with Telewest. In a statement today, NTL chief exec Steve Burch said the cableco is to "accelerate our integration program" so it can save £250m a year by the end of 2007. "Part of this process will involve …
Tim Richardson, 09 May 2006
The Register breaking news

AOL Europe beefs up web content

AOL is looking to expand its business in Europe by opening up its content and applications to all net users. As part of this strategy the firm will be updating its portals in the UK, France and Germany next month to include an even greater spread of content. It's a departure from last summer, for example, when visitors to AOL. …
Tim Richardson, 08 May 2006
The Register breaking news

NTL to wipe out 6,000 jobs

NTL has not denied weekend press reports that it's about to chop some 6,000 jobs as it seeks to make cash savings of £250m a year. Reports claim that a third of the firm's estimated 17,000 workforce is to be stripped out, with call centres likely to be closed down and jobs outsourced overseas. The number of engineers is also …
Tim Richardson, 08 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Wanadooproblems.co.uk to rebrand

Wanadoo Problems - the forum set up in desperation by a punter who was left without broadband for weeks on end after a bodged LLU upgrade - is to change its name. Instead of wanadooproblems.co.uk, the site will change its name to orangeproblems.co.uk - an amazing coincidence because Wanadoo is to ditch its brand at the end of …
Tim Richardson, 08 May 2006
The Register breaking news

AOL Europe kicks off strategic review

Time Warner has hired bankers Citigroup to conduct a strategic review of its AOL Europe business as part of fresh plans to expand its operation. Contrary to a flurry of recent press reports, the sale of parts of AOL Europe is not top of Time Warner's agenda. Instead, the US media giant is keen to pursue partnerships or third …
Tim Richardson, 05 May 2006
The Register breaking news

O2 sniffs around Bulldog, Tiscali - report

O2 has become the latest cellco to be linked with the possible acquisition of a broadband operator. According to the Independent, the Telefonica-owned firm is eyeing Bulldog - the LLU operator owned by Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Tiscali UK. It seems O2 - which used to be the mobile arm of BT - is exploring demand for a fixed/ …
Tim Richardson, 05 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT, NTL and AOL slammed in broadband survey

Three of the UK's leading broadband providers have been slammed for being pants, according to research carried out by price comparison website uSwitch.com. Its survey of 16,000 grown-ups by pollsters YouGov found that BT, NTL and AOL - who between them account for half of all broadband subscribers in the UK - came bottom in …
Tim Richardson, 05 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Wanadoo job cuts come despite assurances

Up to 2,000 jobs are to be lost in the UK at France Telecom-owned Orange and Wanadoo despite recent assurances that numbers would not be axed. In February, France Telecom announced that 22,000 jobs would be culled as the giant telco struggles to cut its whopping debt mountain while facing a cut in traditional revenues. However …
Tim Richardson, 05 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Orange UK to axe 2,000 jobs

Orange is to axe up to 2,000 jobs in the UK as part of the cellco's plans to merge with sister company Wanadoo. Around 15 per cent of the workforce is to be cut as the Wanadoo ISP sheds its name and becomes part of Orange to create a single telecoms firm. The changes are part of a NExT (New Experience in Telecoms) strategy …
Tim Richardson, 04 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT exchange reopens after asbestos scare

A BT exchange in Isleworth, West London, is now up and running again after the discovery of asbestos in the building. Following an asbestos alert on 25 April, BT engineers were barred from entering the exchange until a specialist team of contractors had cleaned the premises. The all-clear was given last weekend, and since then …
Tim Richardson, 04 May 2006
The Register breaking news

NZ ordered to increase broadband competition

The Kiwi government is planning to drive through a series of measures to force incumbent telco Telecom New Zealand to unbundle the local loop and increase competition. A raft of proposals - including LLU, increased regulation, and the promotion of investment by rival operators in fibre, wireless and satellite networks - are …
Tim Richardson, 04 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Summer slot for Sky's broadband launch

Sky is to launch its residential broadband service this summer, the satellite TV operator said today. Despite a string of questions by analysts earlier today, Sky boss James Murdoch declined to spill the beans on Sky's plans for broadband following its £211m acquisition of local loop unbundling (LLU) operator Easynet last year …
Tim Richardson, 03 May 2006
The Register breaking news

BT gets tough over broadband usage limits

BT is tightening up rules governing usage limits for its retail broadband service. From this month, punters who exceed their monthly usage limits are to be emailed about upgrading their packages. Subscribers of BT's Option 4 package - which costs £29.99 a month and includes a 40 gig limit - will also be warned about their usage …
Tim Richardson, 03 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Ad watchdog fingers Telewest

Telewest has been ticked off for not being crystal clear on the availability of its broadband, TV, and phone service. The cableco, which is now part of NTL, ran a radio ad which bragged how "getting broadband couldn't be easier". The commercial went on to urge listeners to get in touch "if you live in a Telewest area and you …
Tim Richardson, 03 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Ofcom steps into Carphone row with BT

The Carphone Warehouse has suffered a setback to its ambitious plans to offer cut price broadband and phone services. A draft ruling by regulator Ofcom has failed to uphold a request by Carphone to slash the cost of migrating large numbers of users to its new service. If the draft ruling is confirmed, Carphone will have to pay …
Tim Richardson, 02 May 2006