Euronews: Jan. 21

The European Commission , Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) are the big three in today's roundup of Euro telecom news snippets.

  • The European Commission approved the use of €1.8 billion (US$2.44 billion) of state aid for broadband deployment projects during 2010, more than four times the amount approved during 2009. The EC rubber-stamped the use of public funds for 20 projects, and expects those approvals to generate additional investments of up to €3.5 billion ($4.74 billion) in broadband projects. The EC also noted that it only approves state aid for networks in "areas where nothing was available before" and where the networks "are made accessible to competing Internet service providers on non discriminatory terms." (See EC Approved Record Funds For Broadband .)

  • The Siemens corruption saga, which has been running for more than four years, entered a new chapter on Thursay when the former president of Siemens Communications, Dr. Thomas Ganswindt, appeared in a Munich court to face the music, reports Bloomberg. He is charged with inadequately supervising a company by failing to halt the corrupt payments and tax evasion that first came to light in 2006. (See Siemens Seeks Damages From NSN Vice Chairman.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent has announced the completion of the first gigabit passive optical network (GPON) in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, the Eastern European outpost that is so far east it tips into Asia. The country's largest operator, KazakhTelecom , will use the network to provide advanced broadband services such as IPTV, video-on-demand and high-speed Internet access to residential and business customers. (See Kazakhtelecom Deploys AlcaLu's GPON.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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