Eurobites: Sky Signs Up to BT Wholesale Discount Deal

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Deutsche Telekom extends business-park FTTP network; Virgin launches dedicated 4K Ultra HD channel; Equinix helps out on London-Paris link; progress on EU-Japan data transfer pact.

  • Sky , the UK-based pay-TV giant, has become the first major communications services provider to sign up for a discount wholesale broadband deal with Openreach , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s quasi-autonomous network access arm. According to the Telegraph, Sky has pledged to supply "superfast" or "ultrafast" services to at least 84% of its customers within five years in order to enjoy wholesale discounts of up to 40%. To hit this ambitious target, Sky will have to more than double the number of its customers on these faster speeds, says the report.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) says it plans to connect 103 business parks to its FTTP network in 2019, offering bandwidth of up to 1 Gbit/s, in what will be the fourth phase of a fiber buildout announced last year. This latest part of the project will entail the laying of 800km of cable, using micro-trenching technology.

  • Cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has launched what it says is the UK's first dedicated 4K Ultra HD entertainment channel. Only those Virgin customers with 4K TVs and a V6 set-top box will be able to enjoy the full experience, though those without a 4K set will still be able to watch in standard HD as the picture will automatically adjust.

  • Dublin-based subsea cable company Ireland-France Subsea Cable (IFSC) is working with US data center specialist Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) on a new, super-speedy Internet link between Paris and London to bolster financial trading between the two cities in a post-Brexit world, the Telegraph reports.

  • The European Union is preparing to formalize its agreement with Japan relating to the transfer of personal data between the two jurisdictions. Japan has committed to implementing a number of safeguards that are intended to guarantee a level of data security "essentially equivalent to European standards," and now the European Commission must formally adopt its "adequacy decision."

  • Slovenia's Iskratel d.o.o. says it has successfully implemented a new IoT-based incident-response management (IRM) system for Slovenian Railways. Though installed less than a month ago, the new system has already been pressed into service on four occasions, detecting alarms set off by locked brakes.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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