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Euronews: UK Broadband Sector Holds Its Breath

Paul Rainford

British broadband, Telecom Egypt and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) stand to attention on a quiet Monday for EMEA telecom news.

  • This could be a big week for the future of U.K. broadband, reports The Guardian, with an announcement expected from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt on how a £530 million (US$864.7 million) fund, earmarked to help with the delivery of half-decent broadband speeds to the whole country (including remoter regions such as the Scottish Highlands), is to be allocated. (See Brits Press On With Broadband Plans and UK Outlines Broadband Plan.)

  • The global fixed-line slump continues apace at Telecom Egypt, which, monopoly or no monopoly, has posted a 15 percent drop in profits year-from-year in its second-quarter financials, reports Reuters.

  • Also from Reuters comes news that Tanzania saw a 20 percent increase in its mobile subscriber base in 2010, taking the total to 21 million in a country that has a population of around 44 million. However, according to the country's telecom regulator, which supplied the figures, operators' investment in mobile networks is likely to drop as a result of falling tariffs caused by a fierce price war. (See Scrambling for Africa, M&A-Style.)

  • U.K. cable operator Virgin Media is selling its 50 percent stake in UKTV, the programming company perhaps best known for "lads' channel" Dave, to Scripps Networks for approximately £239 million ($389.5 million). (See Virgin Media Sells UKTV Stake.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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