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Eurobites: UK Govt Ups Pace on '10 Mbit/s for All'

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: UPC Cablecom expands coverage; Android Pay on its way to UK; oilfield innovation.

  • The UK government is pushing ahead with its plan to make 10Mbit/s broadband service a "must-have" for every British household by 2020, according to a Financial Times report (subscription required). Broadband supply is to be put on the same level as utilities such as electricity and water, and legislation covering a "universal service obligation" for broadband will be brought forward, says the report.

  • UPC Cablecom , the Swiss cable operator owned by Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), is investing 250 million Swiss francs (US$256 million) in the expansion of its network to 250,000 additional premises in Austria and Switzerland over the next five years. The operator is planning to offer downlink speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s using its Gigasphere fiber-optic technology.

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android Pay mobile payment platform is due to launch in the UK within the next few months, according to a Reuters report. It will go head to head with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s Apple Pay, which launched in the UK last July.

  • Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), which is now part of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), has been asked by energy company Statoil to conduct a "concept study" looking at the use of ASN's direct current, fiber optical (DC/FO) technology in the subsea control infrastructure for the Johan Castberg oilfield in the Barents Sea.

  • UK regulator Ofcom has produced a detailed report on home broadband performance, which finds, among other things, that the average actual UK broadband speed reached 28.9 Mbit/s in November 2015 -- 6.1 Mbit/s (27%) higher than it was the year before. In terms of the various services tested, Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED)'s "up to 200 Mbit/s" package achieved the fastest downlink speeds, averaging 174.0 Mbit/s over a 24-hour period.

    Eurobites Towers will be closing for the UK's Easter break, re-opening on Tuesday, March 29.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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