Eurobites: Most EU States Still Not Ready for GDPR

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Virgin Media revenue up, but its Welsh workers aren't smiling; Telecom Italia hasn't heard the bad news; Openet and MDS do a deal.

  • More than half of all the national authorities that will be required to police the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it comes into force on May 25 say that are not ready to do so, according to a survey carried out by Reuters. Of the 24 national authorities that responded to the survey, 17 said that they did not have the funding or powers in place that would allow them to enforce the new data privacy law properly. Companies of all sizes will be affected by the introduction of GDPR, none more so than the likes of Facebook and Google, who will have to tread much carefully in the data privacy minefield. (See Eurobites: Facebook Backs Out of Ireland as GDPR Jeopardy Looms and Top 4 GDPR Misconceptions.)

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), one of the branches of the Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) cable empire that does not form part of the mega-deal with Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) announced today, saw year-on-year rebased revenue growth of 5.2% in the first quarter, with a handset-sales-driven residential mobile revenue rise of 17.8% helping the figures along nicely. Operating income increased 7.2% year-on-year to £59.3 million (US$80.3 million). On the subscriptions front, RGU (revenue-generating unit) additions of 45,000 were up sequentially but down year-on-year, as the improved performance in new-build network areas failed to compensate for a slide in others.

  • Meanwhile, at its contact center in Swansea, Wales, Virgin Media's management has raised hackles by not allowing its rank-and-file workers -- most of whom are facing redundancy in 2019 -- to meet up with a group of politicians who are visiting the site to discuss the ramifications of its planned closure. As Wales Online reports, only managers will now be involved in the "super summit," as Virgin Media thought it inappropriate for the politicians to have meetings with staff before the consultation process on the closure officially begins. (See Eurobites: Let's Get Digital, Says Virgin, as It Culls Contact Center Jobs.)

  • Telecom Italia (TIM) says that it has not received official word from the Italian government about its decision to impose a fine of €74.3 million ($88.1 million) on the operator for its breach "notification obligations pursuant to the golden power law," despite the fine being widely reported in the press. The "golden power" law allows the Italian government to intervene in the affairs of a company deemed "strategic" in terms of the national interest. The increasing influence of French conglomerate Vivendi on the national incumbent has caused concern among many Italian politicians, who feel that Vivendi's ambitions may not align too closely with those of the Italian nation as a whole. (See Telecom Italia Molders as Shareholders Feud.)

  • Ireland's Openet Telecom Ltd. has struck a deal with UK BSS vendor MDS Global , in which Openet's real-time charging product will be incorporated into MDS's "BSS-as-a-service" offering for virtual network operators and service providers.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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