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Eurobites: Openreach goes after TalkTalk for missing millions

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: no more copper in Salisbury; Orange builds new cable repair ship; Enea gets it on with Matrixx.

  • Openreach, the semi-autonomous network access arm of UK incumbent operator BT, has filed a claim in the High Court against TalkTalk for what Openreach claims are millions of pounds' worth of unpaid fees for the use of its wholesale network. As the Telegraph reports, the amount of arrears is thought to be in the region of £16 million (US$21 million) and dates back to the end of September. For its part, TalkTalk accuses Openreach of failing to meet service-level guarantees, saying this is the reason it has held back some payments.

  • In other Openreach news, the wholesaler has announced that its customers in the south-western English city of Salisbury will no longer be able to buy a "traditional" copper-based landline or broadband products. Instead, if they want to upgrade or switch their provider using the Openreach network, they'll only be able to order fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband technology. By September 2023, Openreach will stop selling copper-based products nationally in preparation for full copper withdrawal at the end of 2025.

  • Orange says it is strengthening its commitment to its subsea cable business with the building of a new cable ship specially designed for the maintenance of subsea cables, whether they be fiber-optic ones for telecom or power cables used in offshore wind farms. The new vessel, as yet unnamed, will replace the C/S Raymond Croze, which was launched in 1983 and has carried out more than 100 cable repairs.

  • Also involving Orange is a new deal signed between LaLiga, Spain's top-tier soccer organization, and mobile technology company Mondia. Mondia has been chosen by LaLiga to be its commercial partner for the creation of LaLiga Xtra, its first stab at a subscription-based mobile platform, and the platfrom will be made available to Orange's customers in its Middle East and Africa regions over the coming months.

  • Sweden-based Enea has teamed up with Matrixx Software to create an offering – which combines Enea's Policy Manager and Matrixx's 5G Converged Charging System – that they hope will make it easier for operators to introduce interoperable policy and charging capabilities that accurately monetize new services when they deploy 5G.

  • DZS, the Texas-based broadband access company, has revealed that its passive optical network (PON) technologies are helping to drive the rollout of KCOM's Lightstream fiber broadband across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

  • Swiss bank Zuger Kantonalbank has extended its IT outsourcing contracts with Swisscom until 2026. The bank is investing in digitization, adopting the Finnova banking software operated by Swisscom, among other measures.

  • France is willing to play hardball with the US if the Trump administration goes ahead in January with threatened trade sanctions over France's proposed digital services tax. So says French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who, as Reuters reports, will seek a "riposte at the European level" if the US whacks 25% duties on French exports such as cosmetics and handbags.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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