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Euronews: Telefónica to Support 1,000 Startups

Paul Rainford

Telefónica SA, the European Commission and Tata Communications Ltd. proffer something for the weekend in today's fix of EMEA news.

  • Telefónica has used the World Economic Forum in Davos to set itself some worthy and ambitious-sounding targets, including plans to support more than 1,000 startups through its Wayra Academies program in Europe. It's all part of the plan by Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, to create a "Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs" that will involve, it is hoped, many of Europe's top telcos. In a statement about the Grand Coalition, Kroes said: The digital skills gap is growing, like our unemployment queues. We need joint action between governments and companies to bridge that gap." Kroes also name-checked Nokia Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Alcatel-Lucent and Telenor ASA as Grand Coalition partners. (See Seeking the New Silicon Valley.)
  • Stephane Richard, CEO of France Télécom – Orange, had his home raided on Thursday as part of the long-running investigation into IMF chief Christine Lagarde's part in the payment of compensation to businessman Bernard Tapie, reports Reuters. Richard was Lagarde's chief of staff at the time of the payout.
  • The Internet eh? Can't live with it, can't live without it. Well, the latter is the verdict of a German court, which has ruled that customers have the right to claim compensation from ISPs if their Internet access is disrupted, reports Reuters. The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe ruled that the Internet is an "essential" part of life, and that the "loss of use of the Internet is comparable to the loss of use of a car."
  • India's Tata Communications is upgrading its TGN-Atlantic (TGN-A) subsea cable system, which runs from New York to London, to 100G, using Ciena's GeoMesh offering.
  • Also on the 100G front, Russian service provider Kvant Telecom has chosen France's Ekinops to provide coherent 100G transmission capabilities between Moscow and the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.
  • The European Commission is challenging a second "telecom tax" in Hungary, which raises money for government coffers from phone calls and texts, reports Reuters. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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