Internet gap hinders small firms in poor countries, study shows

Examined 38 indicators to gauge business environment and firms' capacity to 'compete, connect and change'

Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - A study of small and medium-sized businesses around the world has found that one of the main reasons they underperform - especially in poorer countries - is that they make too little use of the Internet.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Brazil are three times less productive than big firms there while those in India are 10 times less productive. The report published on Wednesday by the International Trade Center, a joint venture of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, aimed to find out why.

Dish affiliates surrender some spectrum licenses: FCC official

Dish has said it is interested in offering wireless services in addition to its pay-TV business

Reuters

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp's affiliates on Thursday surrendered 197 spectrum licenses to the U.S. government after they were held ineligible for $3.3 billion in small-business discounts earlier this year, according to a senior U.S Federal Communications Commission official.

Dish's affiliates, Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC, on Thursday paid a penalty of $413 million for defaulting on the licenses worth $3.3 billion that they decided not to pay for, the official said.

Relishing new Wi-Fi, Cuba's young clamor for more

Cuba is connected by only one undersea fiber optic cable originating from Venezuela

Reuters

HAVANA (Reuters) - Headphone-clad youths pore over phones on a street corner at dusk. A mother holds a laptop on Havana's seafront as her children cackle at seeing family abroad. Surreptitious vendors offer Internet cards at a markup.

Cuba's new Wi-Fi hotspots - 35 nationwide since July with more promised soon - are a sensation in a highly controlled country with one of the world's lowest Internet penetrations.

Yet young Cubans are not satisfied.

They want the Communist government to provide more, cheaper and less restricted Wi-Fi for Cuba's 11 million people.

Internet growth slows; most people still offline: U.N.

Cites cost of extending last-mile infrastructure, and sharp slowdown in growth of mobile subscriptions

Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Growth in the number of people with access to the Internet is slowing, and more than half the world's population is still offline, the United Nations Broadband Commission said on Monday.

Internet access in rich economies is reaching saturation levels but 90 percent of people in the 48 poorest countries have none, its report said.

The access growth rate is expected to slow to 8.1 percent this year, down from 8.6 percent in 2014. Until 2012, growth rates had been in double digits for years.

Brazil to boost Internet speed through Europe - Telebras CEO

At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil to the Internet through the U.S.

Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil will boost its Internet communications to reduce dependence on U.S. hubs and be able to host global data centers for heavy users like YouTube and Netflix Inc, Jorge Bittar, head of state-run telecoms company Telebras, said in an interview.

At present, all submarine fiber-optic cables connect Brazil to the Internet through the United States.

Inmarsat says new broadband network offers bright sales prospects

By 2020, the company expects the new network to generate $500 million a year

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Britain's Inmarsat Plc said Friday's expected launch of its third Global Xpress satellite will allow it to offer mobile broadband service to customers in the remotest regions, giving airline passengers the ability to stream movies and update social media on flights worldwide.

AT&T, DirecTV complete merger to form biggest pay-TV company

FCC will require AT&T to establish internal, and independent external, compliance officers

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier AT&T Inc and the biggest satellite-TV provider DirecTV became the country's largest pay-TV company on Friday, completing their $48.5 billion merger after receiving final regulatory approval.

The newly expanded AT&T leapfrogs the biggest U.S. cable company Comcast Corp. The company said it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and more than 19 million in Latin America, making it the world's biggest pay-TV company.

France's Technicolor to buy Cisco's set-top box business

Transaction expected to close by the end of Q4 2015 or in Q1 2016

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - French media and entertainment technology group Technicolor will buy Cisco System's home video equipment business for 550 million euros ($602 million), it said on Thursday, sending its shares to a five-year high.

The cash-and-stock deal is part of Technicolor's efforts to expand in the thriving home video market and boost profitability.

It will create the world No. 2 in customer premises equipment (CPE) - phone gear, cable and satellite TV set-top boxes, routers and switches - with total sales of 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) and a 15 percent market share.

U.S. judge says Internet streaming service should be treated like cable

Ruling could have major implications for broadcasters if it is upheld by higher courts

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Thursday that online television service FilmOn X LLC should be treated like a traditional cable system in order to transmit the programs of the nation's broadcasters over the Internet.

The ruling, coming as consumer TV-watching habits are increasingly migrating to the Internet, is the first to first to view a streaming service like a cable provider and could have major implications for broadcasters if it is upheld by higher courts.

OneWeb sets record launch plan after $500 million funding

648 small satellites orbit to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services

Reuters

MUMBAI/CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Privately owned OneWeb announced what it called the world's largest commercial rocket deal on Thursday after raising $500 million from a group of global investors to support its plans to bring broadband to billions of people via satellite.

The fund-raising attracted backing from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Europe’s Airbus Group, which will also build 900 "micro-satellites" designed to extend the reach of the Internet to remote corners of the world.

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