Eurobites: FTTH Council Takes 'Fake Fiber' Fight to Brussels

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Accenture revives Telefónica; Telia's 5G robot; BT tees up new security boss; Deutsche Telekom digitizes breakdown recovery.

  • FTTH Council Europe , the lobby group that promotes the interests of purveyors of broadband based on "pure fiber," has written an open letter to the EU's telecom ministers to warn them that cavalier use of the word "fiber" in broadband advertising is undermining Europe's drive to attract investment in "very high capacity" networks. In the letter, the group says that misuse of the word fiber in advertisements for essentially copper-based broadband "prevents consumers from making an informed choice about the products which are available to them" and, as a consequence, runs the risk of slowing the rate of fiber take-up. The letter has been sent ahead of an important gathering of EU telecom ministers in Brussels on tomorrow (Tuesday) to adopt the new European Electronic Communications Code. (See Eurobites: UK UBB Providers Cry Foul Over 'Phony Fiber'.)

  • Accenture , the Dublin-based management consultancy firm, has been attempting to sprinkle some transformational fairy-dust on Telefónica 's operations in the UK and Spain, as well as in parts of South and Central America. Among other tweaks, Accenture says it helped Telefónica bring analytics to bear across all its digital channels and call centers in order to gain a better understanding of customers and what sort of offers they might be tempted by. Accenture's design unit, Fjord, also re-jigged the operator's website and overall "digital marketing experience," making it more -- yep, you're already there -- "holistic." The overall aim, says Accenture in a statement, was to help Telefónica evolve into a "Living Business." So much better than those dead ones.

  • As 5G stunts go, it's a cute one: Telia has unleashed a "5G robot" at Helsinki airport, which can apparently help guide passengers through the terminal as well as keeping tabs on its surrounding to make sure that everything within the airport is working as it should, using 5G technology to deliver a real-time video stream back to its human overlords. Telia and Finavia, the government-owned aviation authority, plan to study how passengers interact with robot. Hopefully not too many of them will cause an airport red alert by reporting it as a suspect device.

    'Listen, for the last time, I am not cleaning the damn floor!'
    "Listen, for the last time, I am not cleaning the damn floor!"

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has announced the new managing director of its Security business: Kevin Brown, already on the BT payroll, will replace Mark Hughes at the end of this year. Hughes is stepping down to take up a new position outside the company.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has teamed up with German breakdown recovery service ADAC to soup up its CarConnect offering with a roadside assistance app that automatically sends the location of the vehicle breakdown and notifies when the driver when help is on its way. Initially the service will only apply in Germany but the pair hope to extend it across Europe in time.

  • Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is extending its cybersecurity contract with RANK Software for three more years, specifically using RANK's Virtual Advisor to Security Analysts (VASA) AI-based threat detection platform throughout its internal network. VASA helps identify and prevent security threats in real time by collecting data from network sources and identifying anomalies for security analysts to take a closer look at.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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