Euronews: Sept. 29

Virgin Media Business Ltd. and the European Commission lead the way in today's headlong rush into the telecoms news queue.

  • Virgin Media Business, the business services arm of UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), has unveiled new high-speed, fiber-based broadband packages that, it hopes, will attract enterprise users of all shapes and sizes away from rivals BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW). The new services are being offered under the catchy name of 'Big Red Internet,' which can be explained by the service's cheeky logo. (See Virgin Unveils Its Big Red One.)

  • The European Commission has announced it will invest €780 million (US$1.06 billion) in information and communications technology (ICT) projects in 2011. According to the Commission, the "funding will advance research on the future internet, robotics, smart and embedded systems, photonics, ICT for energy efficiency, health and well-being in an ageing society, and more." The EC is now looking for ICT research proposals that it can consider for funding. (See EC Unveils ICT R&D Budget.)

  • They're cold, they're wet, there isn't a branch of Starbucks for miles. But, hey, at least they're getting a fiber link. The Shetland Islands, which form a windswept archipelago off the north-east coast of Scotland, have been given £367,000 ($580,000) by the European Regional Development Fund to help the council there develop a fiber link to quite-near neighbors the Faroe Islands, reports The Shetland Times.
  • London-based Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW) has chosen Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Unified Computing System as the UK data center platform for its foray into the cloud. Initially available just for customer pilots, the system will be fully launched later this year. (See C&W Worldwide Uses Cisco For The Cloud.)

  • Mark Thompson, the infamously well remunerated director-general of the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) , has told an audience of TV movers and shakers that broadband could be "decommoditised" (that's "cost more," plain English fans) if IPTV services prove a hit, reports the The Daily Telegraph.

  • You'll ruin your eyes! Market research firm comScore Inc. has been looking into mobile video consumption in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. After totting up the numbers it can report that the number of people in those countries viewing video on mobile devices has increased 66 percent in the past year to 12.1 million. On-demand video and TV are the major growth areas, it adds. (See comScore Tracks EU Mobile Video.)

  • UK regulator Ofcom has decided that, following a review of issues around net neutrality and the use by ISPs of traffic management technologies, there is no need for it to develop regulations regarding the provision of a minimum quality of service for Internet access, reports Computing.

  • Irish incumbent eir has launched a new mobile service, eMobile, promising, among other things, a pre-pay tariff that offers unlimited calls and texts for €10 ($13) a week. The operator, which reported an 8.5 percent drop in revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30 and is looking to reduce labor costs, already owns a mobile subsidiary, Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd. (See Eircom Launches eMobile.)

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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