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Eurobites: UK Govt Trumpets Broadband Progress

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: VEON joins virtualization group; Vansbro goes Digpro; CK Hutchison enters the Matrixx.

  • The UK government is patting itself on the back for overseeing what it says is the extension of "superfast" -- in this context at least 24Mbit/s -- broadband to 95% of UK homes. Hitting this target by the end of 2017 was a manifesto commitment of the current Conservative government, and it was achieved through a combination of the state-funded BDUK program and "commercial delivery," largely facilitated by Openreach , BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s network access subsidiary. The government is putting in £1.7 billion (US$2.4 billion) of taxpayers' money into the rollout of superfast broadband to areas that the private sector providers had rejected as not commercially viable.

  • VEON , the Russia-based operator formerly known as Vimpelcom, has joined the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance (ngena) , the group that merges the networks of its partners into one software-defined network, using cloud and virtualization technologies to provide hybrid VPN services. The move will allow VEON to offer managed SD-WAN services to enterprises in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

  • The Swedish municipality of Vansbro has chosen Digpro's geographic information system, dpCom, to manage and document its fiber network. The dpCom system holds bird's-eye views of cable routes, piping and nodes, among other asset data.

  • CK Hutchison, the Hong Kong-based conglomerate that owns the mobile operator Three UK , among others, has acquired a stake in Matrixx Software Inc. , a Silicon Valley startup specializing in cloud-based OSS software for telcos. The deal forms part of a $40 million funding round that was led by Sutter Hill Ventures. (See MATRIXX Software Raises $40 Million and Matrixx Lines Up New Customers, Funding.)

  • Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG 's Ultra HD TV service is to be made available on Vodafone Germany 's cable network, as from the end of the month, Broadband TV News reports. Sky's two UHD channels show selected games from the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.

  • The UK government is warning Britain's "most critical industries" -- such as energy, transport and water companies -- to improve their cybersecurity or face fines of up to £17 million ($24 million). Under new measures, high-profile systems failures would be covered by the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive, which require cyber breaches to be reported to sector-specific regulators. The government is urging industries affected by the new arrangements to seek the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre, which was established last year.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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