Eurobites: Brits still reluctant to take the fiber plunge, Ofcom reports

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Microsoft marks out EU data boundary; Ericsson's Russian retreat latest; Nokia does DWDM in Portugal.

  • Full-fiber broadband is now available to 42% of UK households though only a quarter of these households are choosing to sign up for it, according to the latest Connected Nations report from UK communications regulator Ofcom. "Superfast" broadband – defined here as a service offering download speeds of at least 30 Mbit/s – is available to 97% of UK homes. However, nearly 80,000 homes and business still do not have access to what is termed "decent broadband" – download speeds of 10 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 1 Mbit/s. On the wireless side, Ofcom estimates that around seven in ten UK properties are in areas where 5G is available from at least one mobile operator – up from around five in ten last year.

    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • EU-based cloud customers of Microsoft will be able to process and store their data within the bloc in the new year thanks to the introduction of what the US software giant is calling an "EU data boundary," Reuters reports. The flow of data from the EU to the US has been a significant concern for privacy activists since the EU's introduction of its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. (See Is Facebook facing the end of EU-US data transfers?)

  • Ericsson's retreat from Russia continues with the Swedish vendor announcing it has entered into an agreement to divest its local customer support business there to a Russian company owned by former managers of Ericsson's Russian subsidiary. The deal includes the transfer of approximately 40 Ericsson employees, and certain assets and contracts related to the business. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ericsson announced the suspension of operations and deliveries to customers in Russia and began a structured exit. Approximately 400 Ericsson employees in Russia have been or are in the process of being laid off as operations are discontinued. (See Ericsson, Nokia to complete Russian exit this year.)

  • Nokia has got the nod from FCCN, which provides high-speed connectivity and IT services to the Portuguese academic and research community, to build a nationwide optical transport network connecting universities and research centers in 26 cities. The network will use DWDM technology to increase speeds tenfold, says Nokia.

  • UK mobile operator Three says it has begun work on the first joint site being built in Scotland as part of the government-led Shared Rural Network (SRN) initiative. Situated on the Isle of Mull, Three's site will deliver 4G connectivity to its own customers as well as to those of Vodafone and O2 as part of an agreement that will see each operator build 74 shared sites.

  • Swedish software company Enea is working with Casa Systems and IBM on a 5G private network offering that is currently at the proof-of-concept stage. The joint effort aims to combine subscriber data management with security, interoperability and "multi-access 5G."

  • Doktr, the telemedicine app run by Belgium's Proximus, is to be rolled out to more participants in corporate health insurance plans following a deal with insurance company AG, whose employees have already road-tested the app.

  • Telefónica's Enrique Blanco and Accenture's Kathleen O'Reilly have joined TM Forum's board of trustees. Both are supporters of the Forum's Open Digital Architecture (ODA) and Open API programs, which are aimed at bolstering the long-term resilience of the telecom industry.

  • Sky, the UK-based purveyor of pay-TV and more, has bagged the UK and Ireland rights to the top-notch tennis action of the US Open for the next five years. Its Sky Sports channel will have access to all individual court feeds, broadcasting a minimum of 135 hours of competition throughout the two-week tournament.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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