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Eurobites: Italy considers independent 'broadband champion'Eurobites: Italy considers independent 'broadband champion'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google hooks up to UK and Spain; Eir EXFOliates; Prysmian files cable patent lawsuit.

Paul Rainford

July 28, 2020

3 Min Read
Eurobites: Italy considers independent 'broadband champion'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Google hooks up to UK and Spain; Eir EXFOliates; Prysmian files cable patent lawsuit.

The Italian government is considering adopting the approach taken by the UK to the creation of a single "ultrafast" broadband network and may set up a "single broadband champion" independent of any one operator, in a similar mold to Openreach, the network access unit that was once a part of BT but is now a legally separate entity. That, at least, is the gist of a Reuters report citing an unnamed source. The Italian government has been trying to engineer a deal between Telecom Italia and Open Fiber to smooth the way to a broader and faster fiber rollout, but to date progress has been slow. (See Telecom Italia crumbles like a Roman ruin.) The UK and Spain are to be the recipients of a new transatlantic subsea cable being built by Google and emanating from New York. As the BBC reports, the project, called "Grace Hopper" after an American computer scientist, is expected to be completed by 2022. In the UK, the cable will make landfall at Bude in England's West Country; in Spain it will emerge from the sea in the northern city of Bilbao. Irish operator Eir has decided to go with EXFO for its service assurance needs on its 3G, 4G and 5G networks, drawing on such offerings as Nova Explorer (pinpointing quality degradations), Nova Analytics (analytics and business intelligence) and Nova Care (complaints-handling analysis) to improve the mobile service experience for its more than 1 million customers. The software is part of EXFO's recently launched Nova Adaptive Service Assurance (A|SA) suite, which EXFO describes as "the industry's first service assurance-centric automation platform." Prysmian, the Italian manufacturer of cable for telecom and other markets, has filed patent infringement cases against an unnamed competitor relating to what it alleges is the unauthorized use of Prysmian's European Patents EP1668392 B1 and EP 2390700 B1. The first relates to an optical cable with a highly reduced diameter, the second to bundled cable units containing optical fibers. Nokia has teamed up with Telefónica's Brazilian subsidiary, Vivo, to provide a private LTE network for Vale's Carajás mine in Brazil. The service will be part of an Industry 4.0 project by Vale to deploy autonomous drill platforms and trucks, and it is hoped the project will both increase productivity and improve worker safety. UK communications regulator Ofcom has secured commitments from EE, Plusnet and Sky that they will automatically reduce broadband prices for vulnerable customers who are out of contract, while EE and Plusnet have pledged to give all existing customers access to the prices offered to lure new customers. The moves are part of a broader review to stop UK broadband users being ripped off when they (often unwittingly) come out of contract. Ofcom reckons that the pricing changes made by providers since it opened its review could ultimately benefit all out-of-contract customers by more than £270 million (US347.5 million) a year. (See Ofcom warns UK operators to stop threatening vulnerable customers.) Deutsche Telekom is singing the praises of its new hybrid LTE router, which the operator says can "turbocharge" a fixed network connection with up to 300 Mbit/s via LTE. The Speedport Pro is available for a one-time fee of €389 ($456) or to rent for €9.70 ($11.38) a month. Telefónica UK (O2) has got the gig to supply UK employees of consultancy giant KPMG with remote working tools and other mobile-related services. O2 reckons its green credentials were instrumental in helping it secure the deal. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins, Paul has worked as a copy editor and sometime writer since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the nougthies he took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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