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Eurobites: Telecom Italia Shrugs Off Gallic Threat

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: CityFibre does Reading; fiber-to-the-mountain-hut; UK government cybersecurity not that secure; Sky drones on.

  • The head of Telecom Italia (TIM) has dismissed the threat posed to his company's business by the entry of France's Iliad (Euronext: ILD) into the Italian telecom market, despite the fact that Iliad grabbed 17% of the French market in four years, Reuters reports. Flavio Cattaneo told reporters in Rome that "Italy is a very different market to France," adding that Telecom Italia will be able to come up with "counter measures" that would help it fight its corner. Iliad was given the opportunity to buy assets belonging to Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA and 3 Italia as a sop to European regulators who were concerned about the effects of the proposed merger of Wind and 3 on competition in the Italian market. (See Italian Fear of Iliad May Be Overblown.)

  • UK altnet CityFibre is today officially naming Reading as its latest Gigabit City, even though technically it's still a town (about 40 miles west of London). Around 30km of fiber has been laid, and the service-provider launch partner is BtL, not to be confused with BLT. The network is being marketed to business and public sector organizations. (See CityFibre's Gigabit Vision and Eurobites: CityFibre Forges Ahead.)

  • We've had fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-premises; now it's time to embrace fiber-to-the-hut. Mountain huts, that is: Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) subsidiary A1 has got together with the Austrian and German Alpine Associations for a project that will facilitate mobile phone reception and broadband Internet using WLAN technology at remote huts providing shelter to mountaineers.

  • The UK government's approach to cybersecurity has been given the thumbs-down by the National Audit Office, a watchdog that keeps an eye on government spending and processes. As the BBC reports, a report from the NAO concluded that "None of the departments we interviewed understood the specific roles of the various bodies involved." In response, the government's Cabinet Office acknowledged that it needed to do more.

  • UK pay-TV giant Sky , which is known for its investment in pricey sports content such as soccer's Premier League, hasn't had to dig quite so deep for its latest dollop of action for armchair sports fans: drone racing. It has invested $1 million in The Drone Racing League (yes, there is one) so that the "thrilling world of elite drone racing" can find a home on the newly launched Sky Sports Mix channel. Get a taste of the, er, excitement here.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • James_B_Crawshaw 9/14/2016 | 4:27:45 PM
    Drone racing That video doesn't show the pilot's view of drone racing. Many of the crowd have headsets that allow them to tune to one or other pilot to get their "cockpit" view. Just watching them fly round the track from the stands is a bit like ... watching Formula 1 (with apologies to motor racing fans). 
    PaulERainford 9/14/2016 | 9:19:28 AM
    Re: Better days? Most certainly. And now it's got fiber can we call it Light Reading? Boom boom.
    mendyk 9/14/2016 | 8:47:43 AM
    Better days? Dear Eurobites -- Does the Gigabit Cities designation for Reading mean a return of that town to the glorious heights of the Premier League is inevitable?
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