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Euronews: March 23

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and TalkTalk lead the charge in today's roundup of telecom news from the EMEA region.

  • U.K. incumbent BT and fellow broadband provider TalkTalk head for the High Court today to take part in a judicial review of sections of the Digital Economy Act, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). They are unhappy with the measures in the Act -- introduced by the previous Labour government -- that relate to controlling online piracy, believing them to be disproportionate and harmful to their interests. (See Euronews: Nov. 11 and Brits Press On With Broadband Plans .)

  • Somewhat less controversially, BT has revamped its wholesale VoIP offering. Its SIP core and gateways have been renewed, and other new features include the option to connect via direct access lines, using BT’s Ethernet service. (See BT CTO: Innovating With Voice and Kcom Extends IP Voice Deal With BT .)

  • More telecom fallout from the political turmoil in the Middle East: Bahraini operator 2Connect Bahrain W.L.L. has had its licenses withdrawn by the country's regulator, reports Arabian Business. The regulator did not give a reason for its decision, but the fact that 2Connect was set up by the leader of Bahrain's Waad opposition party, Ibrahim Sharif, is thought to be significant.

  • Irish telecom entrepreneur Denis O'Brien, who founded mobile operator Esat Digifone, has been accused of securing his mobile license with the help of a top politician, reports The Guardian. The Moriarty Report, which follows a 14-year inquiry, concludes that it was "beyond doubt" that Ireland's then minister of communications, Michael Lowry, had helped O'Brien following a meeting in a pub.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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