Business

Comcast agrees to shed nearly four million customers

Comcast has agreed to shed nearly four million subscribers to ensure that it does not become too large if it goes ahead with a merger with Time Warner Cable.

The US company has agreed to a net reduction of approximately 3.9 million video customers – meaning that, if the merger goes ahead, Comcast will retain less than 30 percent of total national MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) subscribers, while maintaining what it describes as 'the compelling strategic and financial rationale' of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

Etisalat agrees Maroc Telecom share purchase

Etisalat – Abu Dhabi's Emirates Telecommunications Corporation – has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Maroc Telecom from the French company Vivendi.

The deal was initially proposed back in November, at a price of €4.2 billion, and is intended to be concluded by the end of May.

Etisalat says the deal will create a company that provides services from Morocco in the west to Abu Dhabi in the Gulf region and Sri Lanka in the east.

€500 million plan for rural Eire rollout

The Irish government has revealed a €500 million plan to bring high-speed broadband to around a million rural homes and businesses across the country.

Eire's minister for communications Pat Rabbitte announced that the fibre scheme would bring high-speed connectivity to premises in more than 1,000 towns and villages, and would involved the country's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Vodafone, using an existing network of pylons.

Dramatic broadband differences revealed in UK

Vastly differing download speeds across the UK have been revealed in a survey of broadband services across the country.

According to the comparison website uSwitch, two roads – Erw Fawr, Henryd, Wales, and Weatley Road, Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex, have average download speeds of just 0.6 megabytes per second, which means that it would take as along as 15 hours to download an HD-quality film.

Xtera chosen for Brazilan networks

Xtera Communications has announced that its '100G-and-beyond' optical networking platform, Nu-Wave Optima, has been approved for use in Brazilian backbone networks.

The Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações – Anatel – has confirmed that Xtera’s equipment fully complies with the requirements of the Brazilian telecommunications authorities and will enable Brazilian operators to benefit from Xtera’s Wise RamanTM solution for long spans and long reach in their long-haul networks.

Alcatel and Elisa announce network upgrade

Alcatel-Lucent and Elisa, Finland’s provider of mobile and fixed broadband services, have announced a significant network upgrade that will give Elisa ultra-broadband capacity. Finland has one of the highest mobile penetration rates and customer usages in the world.

European investment helps bring superfast broadband to Wales

European investment will play a major role in helping deliver next-generation broadband to 96 per cent of Wales’ homes and businesses by 2016, according to its finance minister.

The combined investment in fibre broadband in Wales, including the Superfast Cymru programme and BT’s commercial roll-out is around £425m, of which £90m is from the European Regional Development Fund – as well as £220m from BT, £58m from the Welsh Government, and £57 from the UK Government.

Firms join forces to create ultra-fast FTTP in York

UK telecoms operators Sky and TalkTalk have joined forces with CityFibre to create a new company that will deliver ultra-fast broadband services in the city of York.

The joint venture company plans to build a state of the art, city-wide, pure fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network to deliver broadband speeds of one Gigabit direct to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in York, offering customers better quality and value.

One in four UK homes now 'superfast'

One in four UK residential fixed broadband connections is ‘superfast’, according to research by Ofcom.

The proportion of superfast connections – those offering headline speeds of 30Mbit/s or more – has risen from five per cent in November 2011 to 25 per cent in November 2013, the regulator says. The average superfast connection speed has also continued to rise, reaching 47.0Mbit/s by November 2013 – an increase of 47 per cent, or 15.1Mbit/s since May 2010.

TE Connectivity to acquire Seacon

TE Connectivity has signed an agreement to acquire the Seacon group, a provider of underwater connector technology and systems, for $490 million.

The Seacon group serves the military marine and sub-sea sectors for remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles, as well as oil and gas, environmental, and oceanographic applications.

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