The Internet has effectively been shut down in Syria, according to a report on the BBC website. Renesys Corp. , which describes itself as "the Internet intelligence authority," said on Thursday that Syria's connection protocols were unreachable. The government there blames "terrorists" for the shutdown, but activists have said the same thing has happened previously, prior to government-led military actions in remote areas.
Telecom Italia is set to reject the offer of a US$3.9 billion cash infusion from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, reports Telecompaper (subscription required), citing Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore. Sawiris had been looking to expand Telecom Italia's interests in Brazil.
In the "no surprise there, then" corner, Portugal Telecom saw its third-quarter net profits slump 29 percent year-on-year to €64 million ($83 million), reports Reuters. But it wasn't just economic problems on its home turf that were to blame -- it's Oi unit in Brazil also saw revenues fall 6 percent year-on-year.
Virgin Media Business Ltd. , the enterprise arm of the U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), has won Wi-Fi deals in the northern cities of Bradford and Leeds. The free public Wi-Fi services, which form part of the U.K. government's "super-connected city" initiative, will be operated for Virgin by Global Reach Technology. (See Virgin Lands City Wi-Fi Deals.)
The latest edition of Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s annual study into mobile media habits in the U.K., France and Spain has some encouraging news for BlackBerry : BlackBerry penetration amongst teenagers in the U.K. and Spain is two to three times higher than it is among the respective overall "mobile media user" population. "Advertisers must not write off BlackBerry if they are to successfully engage with a younger audience," warn the report's authors. (See Orange Keeps Tabs on Mobile Habits and RIM Posts $235M Net Loss as Sales Slip.)
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has signed a contract with the authorities in Cumbria -- the northern English county that is home to the much-visited Lake District as well as pockets of real deprivation -- to supply super-fast broadband to the region as part of the U.K. government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) program. (See Euronews: UK's Broadband Plan Gets EU Nod.)