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Europe

Euronews: August 19

8:30 AM -- Ofcom , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), and Velcom are all featured in today's roundup of European telecom news bits.

  • A new piece of research from UK media/telecom regulator Ofcom confirms what most of us could have probably worked out for ourselves: Brits are spending increasing amounts of time "media multitasking," or in other words, watching the telly while sending emails, surfing the Web, or doing something else on a laptop or mobile that stops you watching the telly properly. One particularly interesting and possibly telco-troubling stat emerges, however: Overall UK household spend on telecom services has fallen by over 17 percent in real terms in the last five years. Gulp. (See UK Hooked on Media, Finds Ofcom.)

  • On the subject of Ofcom, another UK TV service provider has made a formal complaint to the regulatory body about the proposed IPTV venture, Project Canvas, a British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) -inspired joint plan, which has the support of heavy-hitters such as BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), ITV plc (London: ITV), Channel 4, TalkTalk , and Arqiva . Digital Spy reports that IP Vision, like Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) before it, believes Project Canvas will "stifle industry innovation, inhibit competition and ultimately restrict consumer choice." (See Euronews: August 3 and IPTV Forum: BT Canvases for Broadband TV.)

  • In Spain, Telefónica will no doubt be cracking open a bottle of cava or two in celebration of that company's Supreme Court decision to cancel a €57 million (US$73.2 million) fine that had been imposed on the telco in 2004. As Telecompaper reports, the fine related to a complaint brought by Astel, the Spanish alternative operators' association.

  • Belarusian mobile operator Velcom, which is owned by Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), reported a healthy rise in second-quarter revenue as subscriber numbers rose to more than 4 million. (See Velcom Reports H1.)

    — Paul Rainford, freelance editor, special to Light Reading

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