Eurobites: Russia Tightens Grip on Internet

Paul Rainford
News Analysis
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe
8/11/2014



Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Netflix on a roll in UK; Xbox gets free-to-air tuner option; faster broadband ups online spend.

  • Russia is clamping down further on Internet use within its borders, issuing a decree stating that people wanting to use public WiFi hotspots need to provide ID first, reports Reuters. Also, companies will have to be prepared to reveal, if asked by the authorities, who is using their web networks. President Vladimir Putin said that the laws were needed to combat "extremism" and "terrorism."

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is going great guns in the UK, with more than one in ten households having signed up to the movie and TV streaming service, reports the Daily Telegraph, citing a survey by Enders Analysis. Enders estimates that more than 3 million households are on Netflix, putting it comfortably ahead of its nearest rival, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Netflix, however, is expecting its losses to soar to US$42 million in the third quarter of 2014 (from $15.3 million in the second quarter) as it launches its service in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg next month. (See Eurobites: Netflix to Take Euro Hit in Q3.)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is introducing a free-to-air digital TV tuner for its Xbox One gaming console in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, reports Digital TV Europe. The tuner, which will cost just short of 30 ($40) in mainland Europe, will allow Xbox users to watch free-to-air TV without the need for a cable or satellite set-top box.

  • It's true: the faster their broadband, the more stuff people buy online. At least that's the finding of a study by the Royal Mail, the UK's postal service, reports the Daily Telegraph. According to the study, the average Briton spends an additional 23 ($38) a year on online purchases, once he or she has been upgraded from standard broadband to the fiber-based or "super-fast" variety. Incidentally, today marks the 20th anniversary of the world's first online purchase: On August 11 1994 some poor fool parted with $12.48 plus shipping for "Ten Summoner's Tales," a CD by Sting, the croaky-voiced bass-botherer.

    Sting (left of picture): Online shopping had to start somewhere.
    Sting (left of picture): Online shopping had to start somewhere.

    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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