With a state of emergency declared on Sunday, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said the government would be doing all it could to help communities affected by the infernos “rebuild their businesses and tourism livelihoods”. The New South Wales Government has vowed to support tourism as fires continue to rage across large parts of the state, most notably in and around the popular tourist region of the Blue Mountains. “Once the fires have been controlled, the Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, will work with local operators and community leaders to prioritise where help is needed the most.” Key to its support, will be ensuring visitors know the regions are “open for business” in the lead up to a “busy summer holiday period”, Mr Souris added. An RFS firefirghter battles a fire near Bell in the Blue Mountains. Image AAP- Paul Miller Visitors planning to travel to affected areas including Lithgow, the Blue Mountains, Wyong (Central Coast), Heathbrae (Hunter region) and Balmoral (Southern Highlands) are advised to check the latest bushfire information on the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and for road closures www.lifetraffic.com before travelling. “Tourism is a critical part of many of these communities,” he said. Source = ETB News: M.H.
A proposal will be sent to the West Bengal state government to start tourist trails surrounding Mother Teresa who has been declared a Saint by the Vatican.“We would request the state government to promote tourism surrounding her. They should build up promotion of Mother Teresa’s memorial,” said IATO President Subhash Goyal.West Bengal tourism department will also start a new outdoor campaign christened ‘Experience Bengal’, at the airports of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to attract more tourists to the state. Besides, television commercials for the campaign will also be launched, featuring state Brand Ambassador Shahrukh Khan.
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “That’s the biggest challenge because depth is so imperative in this league.” 0 Comments Share Trying to predict what the Cardinals will do with their cap space, aside from keeping their own free agents, is likely an effort in futility. But when it comes to trying to upgrade a roster that finished last season 7-8-1 but still has aging veteran stars in QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald, surely GM Steve Keim, head coach Bruce Arians and their crew will look to add some fresh faces to the mix.The tricky part is the balancing act he must do with regards to trying to win now while not mortgaging the future.“It’s a tough double-edged sword, really, for me,” Keim told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday as part of Newsmakers Week. “Because there are guys like Carson and Larry that you know that the end is sooner than later, so you have to try to build around them and try to, so to speak, go for it now.“But that’s our mindset every year; we’re never going to feel like we’re in a rebuilding phase.”Keim said he feels like the organization owes its fans that much, being aggressive in free agency in the draft in an effort to win.“But you also have to keep in mind that you’re going to do the right thing for the organization long-term,” he said. “That’s the biggest challenge, is to make sure that I can look in the mirror and realize that whether it’s the way we structure contracts, whether it’s the way we draft, or whether it’s the way we sign free agents, that this is the best thing for the organization not just for now, but for the next three or four years.” Your browser does not support the audio element. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories While we do not yet know the exact dollar amount of the 2017 NFL salary cap, one thing that is certain is it will rise from the $155,270,000 it was in 2016.For the Cardinals, that’s probably a good thing.According to Spotrac.com, the Cardinals already have $136,936,103 committed to contracts for next season, which gives them nearly $35.5 million of space. The latter number places them 17th in the NFL and third in the NFC West, with the 49ers ($81.89 million) and Rams ($38.99 million) having more to spend and the Seahawks ($26.62 million) boasting less. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires We’ve already taken a look at their list of more than 20-plus free agents, and in the coming weeks we’ll likely get a bit more clarity regarding what the Cardinals plan on doing with each of them. On Friday, Keim would not commit to the team making a big splash in free agency, though he did say they will be aggressive throughout the process.Based on their current cap situation, they will have some room to work with. But how steadfast Keim will be in putting focus and resources into the 2017 season, which many see as the last in the team’s current window, is up in the air, mostly because Keim does not see it as a one-year deal.“Because you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.Keim compared it to the idea of a team drafting for need when what a team needs in April may be different than what it requires during the season.“If you look at Larry and Carson’s situation, if you’re basically saying that’s really all we have or those are the two primary players that we’re going to build around, what would happen if Carson Palmer went down in training camp and missed the season or Larry Fitzgerald went down and missed the season?” he said. “The way we build this roster is you have to look at our depth chart and you have to think to yourself when you’re building the 53 man, that any of these players could go down, or a number of them could go down, and how can we function if they do? LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, right, celebrates with wide receiver John Brown after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
State Rep. Brandt Iden today applauded Gov. Rick Snyder’s recommendation to keep education a priority in the state’s budget.“Providing a quality education to kids everywhere is fundamental to our success as a state,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “The governor recognizes that, and I’m proud to support his call for more focus on education in this upcoming budget cycle.”Gov. Snyder delivered his executive recommendations for the fiscal year 2016-17 budget before a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. As part of the presentation, the governor recommended an investment of $150 million to provide a per-pupil increase in the foundation allowance for schools across the state. In real terms, this investment will increase the minimum foundation allowance to between $7,511 and $8,229 per student.In addition to the per-pupil increase, the governor also recommended $15 million be provided for the expansion of career and technical education in K-12 schools, as well as $2.4 million for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives.“The STEM industry is proliferating at rates we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. By providing more funding for STEM initiatives and technical education, we are opening doors for students to have jobs right out of school,” Rep. Iden said. “Investments like this pave the way for successful students and professionals. I want to thank Gov. Snyder for his foresight and support for our kids and their futures.”The budget is expected to be deliberated upon in coming months.### 10Feb Rep. Iden lauds Gov. Snyder for budget focus on education Categories: Iden News,News
Categories: Bellino News,Bellino Photos State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe was recognized on May 17 by Michigan Soft Drink Association in Lansing.Rep. Bellino received the Legislative Leadership Award for his demonstrated commitment, leadership, effectiveness and stewardship on behalf of good public policy for Michigan’s citizens and the soft drink industry.“I am humbled to receive this award and am grateful for the opportunity to represent my neighbors and community,” Rep. Bellino said. “Owning a small business in Monroe for over 18 years and a lifetime working in the beverage industry has given me a unique perspective on how issues in the soft drink industry impact the people of southeast Michigan.”State Rep. Joe Bellino joined soft drink industry stakeholders to receive Michigan Soft Drink Association’s Legislative Leadership Award on May 17. 24May Rep. Bellino receives Legislative Leadership Award from Michigan Soft Drink Association
Share8TweetShareEmail8 Sharescorktown / meeshFebruary 6, 2016; Detroit Free PressMichigan’s historic districts may have to deal with more red tape. Two paired bills (HB 5232 and SB 720) propose changes to Michigan’s preservation laws that would force historic districts to close or sunset unless residents or preservationists reapply for the districts’ status every ten years. The two joint bills also impose other limitations that would seriously hinder the ability of districts to retain their status as protected historic places.Among the restrictions under the new legislation, every ten years, historic districts within towns and cities, which would include Detroit’s Indian Village, Corktown, and Lafayette Park, among other places, will need to obtain approval from two-thirds of the area’s property owners as well get as a majority vote from the entire city in the next general election to renew their status.Preservationists and others, like Suzanne Schulz, the planning director for Grand Rapids, are concerned that areas unable to keep the “historic” designation would be vulnerable to the whims of property owners.“The value is that your neighbor can’t do something inappropriate,” said Nancy Finegood, director of the nonprofit Michigan Historic Preservation Network. “They can’t put up a chain link fence around their house and change the look of your block, which would affect your property value as well. There’s been research done that property values are higher in local historic districts.”According to John Gallagher from the Detroit Free Press, this legislation is part of a series of disputes by conservative lawmakers looking to put individual property owners’ rights above what’s best for the community. Indeed, Rep. Chris Afendoulis, a Republican lawmaker who sponsored the legislation, said he did so out of concern for property rights. According to Afendoulis, since the enactment of the 1970 law that established historic districts in Michigan, home and property owners have been restricted in the ways they can remodel their property. “If you live in an historic district, in some ways, you don’t have control over your property. […] If you’re not flexible, then a lot of people can’t afford to remodel their homes.”At least 78 Michigan cities and towns have historic districts within their communities, including all the major ones. Finegood estimates there are around 20,000 properties within those districts, which means there’s the potential for significant change if the legislation passes. However, the legislation assumes the problem of property owners wanting to alter their property but feeling restricted by the boundaries of a historic district is widespread. Given how easily this legislation would allow the viability of historic districts that have been in place for decades to be reevaluated, we would expect to hear complaints where preservation laws have significantly violated property owners’ rights.“It’s true that over the years we’ve heard some low-level complaints about how tough local historic boards can be in protecting the integrity of their districts,” says Gallagher in his piece. “But this proposed legislation goes way too far in trying to correct a so-called problem that is hardly a problem at all.”If concerns truly are minimal, then this proposed legislation overreaches. Among the other restrictions included in the legislation, a city’s local council could decide autonomously that it would like to abolish a local area’s historic district status.Locally, there has already been movement to stop the legislation from being passed. The Detroit City Council’s advisory staff has also recommended the Council pass its own separate resolution to limit the impact of the legislation should it pass. The bigger question, as also asked by Gallagher in his piece, is whether Gov. Snyder, who is already knee-deep in the Flint crisis, will take a stance on the bill.—Shafaq HasanShare8TweetShareEmail8 Shares
Share5Tweet16Share15Email36 SharesPixabay. Public domain.June 7, 2017; KCRAThis week, California governor Jerry Brown travels to China to discuss green initiatives in the company of business leaders from his state. While it’s great to see leaders who are proactive on renewable energy and other important climate change work, is the pay-to-play model really benefitting communities?In the wake of the Paris climate debacle at the White House, governors and mayors have stepped up to own the responsibility of green initiatives in their communities, as NPQ predicted they would. Nearly a dozen states and nearly 250 mayors have signed agreements committing themselves to implementing the Paris agreement criteria. Brown has been a face for these types of efforts from the beginning, but as NPQ readers know, the commitments of lawmakers are not enough here; the implementation will take place far away from state houses and city halls. For action on climate change to happen, businesses have to understand that saving the planet is in their best interests, too. From this perspective, it makes sense that business leaders would be part of the conversation about new initiatives for green energy.Thirty California business leaders are traveling with Brown in China this week. According to the Associated Press, “Most [trip attendees] paid a fee of about $5,500 on top of their travel costs to attend four days of events, including multiple private dinners and receptions with Brown, a clean energy ministerial and meetings with Chinese business and political leaders.”This sounds like a good thing, bringing leaders together who have the power to make change about energy use and other green initiatives, while lifting the burden of travel costs from taxpayers. Still, much like philanthrocapitalism, it has some potential snags.For one thing, this sounds a lot like simply buying access to the governor and his colleagues. With all the talk about money in politics in the U.S., this seems like a capitulation to the inevitability of their mingling. Americans still don’t like the idea that face-time with power brokers can be bought so explicitly; it walls off from the conversation smaller and less wealthy organizations that may be doing innovative work. It’s one thing to fight for dominance in the marketplace; it’s quite another to give the mayor or the governor a personal stake in your success.Furthermore, while Americans (at least mentally) segregate business from government, China does not do so to the same degree. In recent years, it has opened to trade and innovation, but even so, Harvard Business Review explained, “No one who has done business in China will be surprised to learn that relationships with government matter.” Does traveling with the governor, then, lend extra credibility to the businesses of those entrepreneurs? Will it be assumed that they have the backing of the public sector, when in fact the public had no say in their attendance on the trip?To be clear, this is hardly the first time that a governor has offered a pay-to-play option on his or her travel plans. Most state governments maintain several foreign trade offices, and many governors take trips accompanied by business leaders to encourage job growth in their states.Still, we must wonder: Where is the room for civil society in these conversations? When new statewide initiatives in clean energy are being developed, there will be impact on nonprofits that work in green energy, job growth, community development, and more. Are they given the opportunity to explain their considerations to state officials?As more state and local officials take ownership of big problems like climate change in the absence of federal leadership, nonprofits must pay attention to opportunities like these, where big decisions may be made. Though they’re touted as opportunities to put money in public coffers, the lack of community inclusion could be troubling.—Erin RubinShare5Tweet16Share15Email36 Shares
The company behind the live music-themed iConcerts HD TV channel has put a new management structure in place, which it claims will accelerate growth in international markets.As of this month, Switzerland-based Transmedia Communications has installed its COO, Mathieu Sibille, as new CEO, with former chief exec and company founder Etienne Mirlesse moving upstairs to become executive chairman.“The new structure will enable Transmedia to scale up and meet the growing demand for our products” said Mirlesse.“ Mathieu brings to the table significant corporate experience and over the past six months has proven his ability tooptimise and grow the iConcerts global operations.”Furthermore, Transmedia has created a new UK-based production subsidiary, iConcerts Entertainment (iCE), which will focus on sourcing content and original productions.iConcerts co-founder and editor-in-chief Natalia Tsarkova will helm iCE. “There are a lot of concert shows out there, but not enough creative television formats centred around the live music experience,” she said. “We now have the global distribution network and the production capability to produce such content for our fans. We also aim to feature local stars internationally, and create unique East-West musical collaborations.”Transmedia claims the changes will allow it to “optimize growth and accelerate its rapid international expansion following the deployment of the iConcerts HDTV channel and digital platforms in over 80 countries, including Mainland China”.The iConcerts brand comprises a HD TV channel and VOD platform available in numerous territories in Europe, Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Media services provider GlobeCast has named Michele Gosetti as interim CEO, GlobeCast Americas. Gosetti , whotakes on the role following the departure of Lisa Coelho, ill continue to serve as chief financial officer of GlobeCast Americas in addition to his new responsibilities.“Over her two years as CEO of Globecast Americas, Lisa Coelho oversaw the improvement of the company’s technical abilities, customer support, and quality of service,” said Globecast Chairman and CEO Olivier Barberot. “Michele Gosetti’s mission will not only be to take these activities to the next level, but also to find efficiencies between our activities in the Americas and the global group, to the benefit of our broadcast clients around the world.”
Altice, the investment vehicle of Patrick Drahi and main shareholder of French cable operator Numericable, has debuted on the Amsterdam stock exchange.The company set a base price of €28.25 for its shares, valuing the company at €5.7 billion. Altice is selling 26.5 million new shares along with 19.6 million existing shares owned by Drahi’s Next holding company, raising about €1.3 billion not including an over-allocation option.Altice said that in the case of a strong performance the offer could be increased by 15%, raising a total of €1.5 billion.The IPO will lead to 22.8% of Altice’s capital being publicly floated, excluding the over-allocation.Altice holds a 40% stake in Numericable.
Upselling to TV services provided a boost for Telekom Austria in its domestic market, where the operator’s first half performance was hit by an exceptional item related to the introduction of a new fixed line billing interface.Telekom Austria had 241,600 TV subscribers in the Austrian market, up 6% year-on –year, out of 1.39 million retail broadband lines, up 6.3%. Average revenue per line fell by 1.5% to €30.30, a slowing down of its decline that the company attributed in part to successful upselling to TV.In Croatian, subsidiary Vipnet had 162,900 TV subscribers, up 8.8% year-on-year. Total fixed broadband retail lines numbered 121,000, up 22.2%. Telekom Austria’s Bulgarian subsidiary had 78,800 TV subscribers, up 8%,Telekom Austria posted revenues of €1.939 billino for the first half, down 7.3%, while comparable EBITDA was €619.4 million, down 7.2%.
Sami Boustany, CEO of YahliveUnited Arab Emirates-based satellite broadcasting company, Yahlive, is adding the TV channels BBC Persian and BBC Arabic, to its platform from October 2014. The Farsi- and Arabic-language BBC World Service news channels will be available free-to-air and will air a mix of political, economic, cultural and sports stories and features – along with documentaries.The new channel launches will follow the recent addition of CNN International on Yahlive, with the company claiming it has grown its channel offering by 140% over the past year.“Over the past year we have seen exceptional popularity for our east beam service as a focus for regional high quality Farsi content, as we commit to meeting the needs of regional audiences. We continue to select channel partners based on the quality of their programming and offering a selective choice of premium television channels to our diverse and culturally rich viewers across the region,” said Yahlive CEO, Sami Boustany.Yahlive is a joint venture between Yahsat, the UAE-based satellite communications company, and Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. The firm already offers 110 channels in HD and SD and broadcasts in the Farsi, Arabic, English, Afghani and Kurdish languages.“Audiences for BBC Arabic and BBC Persian have doubled over the last five years across all platforms. We’re delighted that Yahlive will feature our channels, allowing even more viewers and listeners to enjoy the wide range of news, business, sport and documentary programming on the BBC World Service,” said Behrouz Afagh, head of journalism for BBC World Service in the Near East, West and Central Asia.
Catalan broadcaster Mediapro’s president Jaume Roures has reportedly told the Spanish competition regulator, the CNMC, that there is no implication of exclusivity in the deal it struck with Telefónica to provide its beIN Sports service to the telco.Mediapro agreed a €2.4 billion deal with Telefónica in January giving the latter the right to air matches from the UEFA Champions League and Europa League tournaments for the current season and the 2016-18 seasons, raising concern among Telefónica’s competitors that they could be shut out of Spanish football, seen as a key selling point for their multi-play packages.At the end of last week, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, addressing an analyst question about the Spanish market after the company’s third quarter results, said that the Mediapro-Telefónica deal could not be exclusive as the telco is obliged to resell premium content rights to third-party providers. He said Vodafone was challenging the formula under which the costs of rights were reallocated, but that his company did have the right to get the content.Colao said that any attempt by Teledfónica to argue that, by doing a deal with Mediapro, it was not buying exclusive rights but the exclusive right to retransmit channels – i.e. beIN Sports – was “unlikely” to be successful.
Video streaming specialist RealNetworks is making its RealTimes app, its highlight product from this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, available to Vodafone Backup+ users via a partnership between the pair.RealTimes provides edited versions of users’ personal media including video via an algorithm that automatically selects the best content created by consumers on their phones, sets them to music and creates ‘stories’ based on a range of factors including location, enabling them to be uploaded to social media.“We are getting good traction with the Real Player base. To charge our distribution we want to team up with strategic partners,” said Max Pellegrini president products and marketing RealNetworks at MWC. He said the app was useful for mobile carriers in creating loyalty and fidelity to the brand among customers.Vodafone is enabling users to ‘bring their own cloud’, with the ability to access content via Dropbox and other web-based services, said Pellegrini.Separately, RealNetworks has also struck an agreement with cloud services provider Funambol, to bring the app to Funambol’s mobile operator customers.RealNetworks has already teamed up with carriers including KDDI, with which it has a co-marketing agreement for the app, and Verizon, where the RealTimes app is integrated with Verizon’s existing cloud app.
Kate MarshSony Pictures Television Networks UK is due to launch a rebranded Sony Movie Channel on the Freeview and Virgin Media in the UK next month.The flagship channel will consolidate Movie Mix, which is already available on Freeview and Virgin, and Sony Movie Channel, which is available on Sky.The Sony Movie Channel, which currently airs on Sky channel 323, will also have an “enhanced schedule” and a new look, according to Sony.The refreshed Sony Movie Channel will have a new logo, on-screen look and will air catalogue titles such as Twilight, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Maid In Manhattan, The Mask of Zorro and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.“Sony has a rich cinematic heritage. With our knowledge and love of movies we want to present the best possible movie channel for audiences across the UK,” said Kate Marsh, executive vice president of Sony Pictures Television’s Western Europe International Networks division.“The cinematic new look reflects the new channel content offering – favourite movies you will know and love.”The revamped free-to-air channel will be available from 10th January 2017 on Freeview channel 32, Sky 323 and Virgin 425.
BBC Worldwide and ITV’s US subscription video-on-demand service, Britbox, is now available via Amazon’s Channels service.Amazon Prime members in the US can subscribe to BritBox for US$6.99 per month to gain access to the service’s line-up of British TV programmes.“The initial rollout of BritBox earlier this year was met with a great response from British TV lovers and Anglophiles, surpassing our expectations,” said BritBox president, Soumya Sriraman.“As BritBox continues on an upwards trajectory, this expansion onto Amazon Channels will provide the opportunity to reach even more loyal, and potentially new, fans.”BBC Worldwide and ITV announced Britbox at the end of last year and said they aim to roll out the service in other international markets after the US.AMC Networks, which already runs BBC America with BBC Worldwide, is a minority partner in the service.Britbox claims to offer the most comprehensive collection of British television available digitally and is the exclusive US SVOD home to UK programs like In The Dark, The Moorside, Mum, and the adaptation of Zadie Smith’s NW.
Discovery Channel, Discovery Communication’s premium pay TV brand, is set to become available on Amazon Channels in Germany and Austria.The launch of Discovery Channel on the service extends the partnership between Amazon and Discovery, which launched Eurosport Player on Amazon Channels earlier this year.Amazon customers with an active Prime membership in Germany and Austria can now access Discovery Channel through live streams of the linear TV channel as well as catch up and VOD content.These new premium additions to Amazon Channels are available via the Prime Video App on Smart TVs, mobile iOS and Android devices and Fire tablets as well as on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, or through amazon.de/channels at €3.99 a month.Susanne Aigner-DrewsSusanne Aigner-Drews (pictured), senior VP and general manager at Discovery Networks Germany, said: “After the successful launch of the Eurosport Player on Amazon Channels, we’re delighted to present our factual entertainment flagship Discovery Channel as an exciting new addition for Amazon’s customers.“With a 30-year pedigree of telling great stories about the world, Discovery Channel has superfans around the globe who love its immersive factual content.”Mirjam Laux, general manager for Amazon Channels Germany and Austria, said: “With Discovery Channel being available at Amazon Channels, we are excited to offer customers yet another premium-brand. Whether the depths of space, the icy expanses of Alaska or exciting moments in South America – there’s something for every documentary fan on Discovery Channel.”Amazon launched its Amazon Channels offering in the UK, Germany and Austria this May, allowing Prime users to add live and on-demand TV as part of their subscription package.
Bonnier Broadcasting-owned Swedish pay TV channel provider C More’s recently launched Sport Channel is now available on Telenor’s Canal Digital platform and Bredbandsbolaget network in Sweden.The agreement with Telenor means that the service is available on all major pay TV platforms in the country, with a reach of about 1.5 million households.Johan Cederqvist, programming director of sport for TV4 and C More, said that it was “extremely pleasing” that Sport Channel was now available with all major operators in the country.The latest agreement follows one signed between Bonnier and the country’s leading cable operator Com Hem for carriage of the channel. Under that deal, Com Hem cable and Boxer digital-terrestrial subscribers gained access to the channel, which shows matches from the Allsvenskan football league, SHL hockey league, the Swedish Handball League and the Superligan floorball league, among others. The channel also airs coverage of US NBA basketball and the Swedish PGA golf tour.Sport Channel, which replaced the previous TV Sport channel, is also available via Telia’s IPTV network and Viasat’s pay TV service.
Facebook is “rapidly closing the gap” on YouTube in terms of mobile video traffic, according to a new report by Openwave Mobility.The Mobile Video Index study, which is based on data from more than 30 mobile operators, said that while YouTube remains the most popular service for mobile video, Facebook is making strides in this space.The report found that in most developed markets Facebook video is now trending upward relative to YouTube and that Facebook has already overtaken YouTube in a number of emerging markets.The report also found that in Western Europe, consumers prefer to watch video in standard definition rather than high definition as this often results in less buffering.“While video playback times on mobile are increasing, average playback buffer time remains stubbornly high at 7.2 seconds,” said Indranil Chatterjee, senior vice-president of products, sales and marketing at Openwave Mobility.“Subscribers will only put up with six seconds of buffering before abandoning a video in frustration. For subscribers, every second counts and consumers blame their operators – not OTTs – when they suffer poor quality of experience”.“Our study in Europe found that consumers are happy to pay an extra €7.50 per month for videos with less than two seconds of buffering. Operators can ill-afford to ignore the monetisation opportunities staring them in the face.”Openwave Mobility offers traffic and data management services to mobile operators via a scalable network function virtualisation (NFV) platform. Its stated goal is to empower mobile operators to manage and monetise encrypted and unencrypted traffic.
VodafoneZiggo must open its fixed network to other providers the Dutch regulator ACM has ruled, in new regulations that will take effect on October 1.Previously Dutch providers without their own fixed network only had access to KPN’s, but they will now be able to also offer internet, TV and fixed telephone services via VodafoneZiggo’s cable network.“We see that these two parties are collectively dominant in the market,” said ACM board member Henk Don, claiming that VodafoneZiggo and KPN could use that position to increase prices for consumers or adjust conditions to their advantage.“Because both KPN and VodafoneZiggo have these options, ACM considers it fair to open up the networks of both parties to competition. In this way, providers without their own network can still offer their services to consumers and businesses.”The new regulation, which was proposed by ACM in draft form in August, is designed to ensure that there is sufficient competition on the market and to make sure that VodafoneZiggo and KPN can’t ban alternative suppliers and impose excessive retail prices for end-users.However, cable industry body Cable Europe is against the intervention, with chairman Matthias Kurth commenting in August that the move would be “anachronistic and runs contrary to the consumer interest”.Kurth also complained earlier this month that the European Commission “has not taken enough time to look into the specifics of the case”.The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is an independent regulator that aims to makes sure that businesses compete fairly with one another while at the same time protecting consumer interests.Its stated goal is to “create a level playing field” and it is charged with competition oversight, sector-specific regulation of several sectors, and enforcement of consumer protection laws.