UK broadband plan two years behind schedule: report

The UK government’s plan to extend broadband connectivity to rural parts of the country is running almost two years behind schedule, according to a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO).

In a statement that is hugely critical of the broadband plans and their execution, the NAO said the plan to make broadband available to 90% of the country is likely to be completed some 22 months later than its original deadline of May 2015, with only nine out of 44 local projects reaching their coverage targets by that date.

Telekom Austria, AlcaLu achieve 1Gbps over copper

Telekom Austria has been trialling a copper-based broadband technology from Alcatel-Lucent that can support download speeds of more than 1Gbps.

The innovation could be hugely significant, allowing operators to avoid making costly investments in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in order to provide superfast services.

The product from Alcatel-Lucent (Paris, France) combines VDSL2 and vectoring – are already in commercial use – with a new transmission technology called, which uses a wide frequency band to boost connection speeds on copper lines over short distances.

Bahrain to study restrictions on VoIP services


Bahrain is to study whether to restrict Internet-based telecom services, the communications minister of the restive Arab state told Reuters, although no final decision was imminent.

Internet-based communications including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), instant messaging and social media helped activists launch and nurture the uprisings that toppled long-standing rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011.

National broadband plans boost penetration by 2.5%: ITU, Cisco

The adoption of a national broadband plan boosts broadband penetration by 2.5% and mobile broadband penetration by 7.4%, according to new research from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Cisco.

Researchers from the United Nations (UN) institute and the maker of routers and switches found that the introduction of a national broadband plan led to greater coordination between the industry and the public sector and bolstered the sector by emphasizing the role of broadband as a national priority.

France Telecom becomes Orange

France Telecom has officially dropped its original moniker and taken up the name of Orange, which has served as its brand across most commercial activities for several years.

The change came into effect at the start of this week, having won the approval of the operator’s shareholders in May.

In a statement, the company said that all its products and services in more than 30 countries will henceforth be sold under the Orange brand name, with all commercial, internal and corporate communication grouped under a single brand identity.

SK Telecom claims world's first launch of LTE-Advanced

SK Telecom has stolen a march on domestic and international rivals by claiming to have launched the world’s first network based on LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology.

The launch comes just two years after the South Korean company began providing commercial LTE services, and with many operators around the world yet to begin offering LTE to their customers.

Vodafone agrees $10 billion takeover of Kabel Deutschland

Vodafone has agreed a £6.6 billion ($10.14 billion) takeover of Germany’s Kabel Deutschland aimed at bolstering its presence in the country’s broadband and TV markets.

The deal will create a company with combined revenues of €11.5 billion ($15.1 billion), as well as 32.4 million mobile, five million broadband and 7.6 million TV customers.

Vodafone raises Kabel Deutschland offer after rival bid: report


Britain's Vodafone Group Plc has raised its preliminary offer to buy Germany's largest cable operator, Kabel Deutschland Holding AG, a day after U.S. media group Liberty Global Plc made a rival bid, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the bid.

Bloomberg reported that Vodafone (Newbury, UK) told Kabel Deutschland (Unterfoehring, Germany) this week that it would be willing to pay 85 euros a share compared with its initial offer of 80 euros to 82 euros for the German company.

Hungary's operators say taxes threaten broadband development

Hungary’s operators have lashed out at moves by the country’s government to impose yet another tax on the telecoms industry, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.

Earlier this week, authorities served notice of plans to introduce a new telecoms-specific tax they say cannot be passed on to consumers.

Set to come into force on August 1, the new rules would require operators to pay a tax on phone calls by business customers of HUF3 ($0.014) per minute, up from a current per-minute rate of HUF2 per minute.

Satellite backhaul deal to bring 3G to rural Malaysia

Satellite operator O3b Networks has signed a backhaul deal that will allow Malaysia’s Maju Nusa to provide 3G services in rural and remote parts of the country.

The companies did not disclose details of the financial terms but describe the tie-up as a “multi-million-dollar, multi-year deal”.

That deal comes just days before O3b (St Helier, Jersey) is set to launch its next-generation satellite constellation and will provide “fiber-equivalent capacity” to Maju Nusa (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), according to O3b’s statement.

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