Watchdog proposes price controls for BT's high-speed business lines

Ofcom opens a consultation on what controls would apply to some wholesale leased line prices


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed controlling the prices BT can charge for some of its high-speed business lines, following up on a review which recognized the former state monopoly's "significant" market power.

Ofcom said it was opening a consultation on what price controls would apply to some of BT's wholesale leased line prices, which could result in price cuts for customers in the 2 billion pound ($3.10 billion) market.

Court declines to suspend U.S. net neutrality rules

Decision puts suit on expedited schedule, but does not indicate how the court may ultimately rule


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. Internet traffic regulations, known as net neutrality rules, will go into effect on Friday after a federal appeals court rejected the telecommunications industry's request to partly suspend their implementation while they are being litigated.

The ruling on Thursday marked an early win for the Federal Communications Commission, whose assertion of a broader enforcement authority over Internet service providers is being challenged in court by AT&T Inc and cable and wireless industry groups.

Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global on asset swap, not merger

After weeks of speculation, Vodafone released a statement on Friday saying it was not in merger talks


LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone, the world's second biggest mobile company, said it is in early talks about exchanging selected assets with Europe's largest cable operator Liberty Global, which could enable each to better compete with rivals.

Analysts and sector bankers said the two most important countries for both firms where they overlap were Britain and Germany. They also both operate in Ireland, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Charter-Time Warner Cable deal could spawn an online video service

Would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc executives are exploring whether to launch an online video service as part of its combination with larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc, in what would be an unprecedented move in the cable industry.

The $56 billion takeover announced on Tuesday would make Charter the No. 2 U.S. Internet and cable company after Comcast Corp. Charter's top shareholder John Malone, a cable industry pioneer, is on record as being a fan of streaming TV over the Internet.

China to spend $182 billion to boost Internet by end of 2017

Goal is to accelerate the development of fiber optic broadband and high speed 4G mobile networks


BEIJING (Reuters) - China will spend more than $182 billion to boost Internet speeds by the end of 2017, a top government body said, as Beijing moves towards a more service-driven economy to boost growth.

The State Council said the government will invest more than 430 billion yuan ($69.3 billion) this year on network construction, with at least another 700 billion yuan ($112.8 billion) spent over the following two years.

The goal is to accelerate the development of fiber optic broadband and high speed 4G mobile networks, the governing body said on its website.

Enel offers to help build Italy's fibre broadband network

Move could bring utility company into conflict with Telecom Italia


MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Italian power utility Enel has written to the Italian communications regulator offering to help with building a nationwide ultrafast broadband telecoms network, a move that could bring it into conflict with Telecom Italia.

Enel, which is controlled by the Italian government, wrote a letter to the regulator on April 14 saying its domestic network could be used to help install fibre optic cables more cheaply.

Exclusive Insights into Impact of Google’s Project Fi and VoWiFi

Analyst and contributing editor Frank Ohrtman sees potential 20% market share loss for AT&T, Verizon

Analyst and contributing editor Frank Ohrtman sees potential 20% market share loss for AT&T, Verizon

Spain's Telefonica bets on price hikes to end six-year slump

Higher rates to take effect on May 5, should add up to 300 million euros


MADRID (Reuters) - Telefonica's move to hike prices in Spain is a bold bet that could finally draw a line under a six-year slump, cut the firm's reliance on Latin America and give it a leg up over rivals on the lucrative premium telecoms market, sources and analysts say.

The telecoms giant, whose revenues have dropped 13 percent worldwide and 42 percent in Spain since 2008, has focused on fewer markets, cut debt and invested in new high-speed networks and exclusive television contents to try and regain its mojo.

Metroweb's state owner rejects Telecom Italia proposal: sources

Battle is politically sensitive as PM Renzi considers it a building block for a plan to roll out faster networks


MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - The state owner of Italy's Metroweb has rejected a proposal by Telecom Italia to take a stake in the broadband company and gradually reach full ownership, according to two people close to the matter and an email seen by Reuters.

The latest twist in long-running talks between Telecom Italia and state lender Cassa Depositi e Presititi (CDP) could favor Vodafone, which has also set its sight on the broadband firm.

Interoute eyes roll-up of European and U.S. cloud network firms

Currently, around 25 percent of European data traffic flow over its networks


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Britain's Interoute, a high-capacity data network and corporate cloud services provider, is taking on new private equity investors to fund acquisitions across Europe and the United States, the company said on Monday.

Aleph Capital Partners, a UK investment firm headed by former Goldman Sachs European private equity investment chief Hugues Lepic, and Crestview Partners, a U.S. private equity firm founded by ex-Goldman colleagues, have agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in London-based Interoute.

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