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first_imgBy Constantinos PsillidesHOUSE Energy committee chairman Zacharias Zachariou has written to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) urging it to keep on paying producers of renewable energy sources (RES) for another month, that would allow the government enough time to resolve the issue over subsidies from the renewable energy fund.The fund covers the difference between the per kilowatt-hour (kWh) price with which the EAC buys energy from producers according to avoidance costs and the producers’ overall production costs, which is a stable tariff set out in their contracts. So far, the RES fund is being solely funded through a green fee on all electricity bills, which is set on the fixed amount of half a cent per kWh.Due to the worldwide drop in crude prices, the increase in RES producers and a drop in energy consumption, the fund is no longer viable.EAC pays producers the total amount owed and subsequently files for compensation from the fund. As of January this year, EAC was owed €6.5, with an estimated €1.5m added each month since then.On June 2, the EAC decided to pay producers only the avoidance cost – which essentially is the cost of fuel – that has dropped to 7.44c per kWh from 11c when the agreements with RES producers were signed, and not cover the additional cost.“I fully understand why EAC decided not to pay RES producers the additional subsidy, but they are faced with a serious problem that is not of their own making,” said Zachariou, adding that the House needs more time to come up with a solution.The EAC board will meet on Tuesday to decide on the matter.While the EAC might give in to the committee’s request, the only solution to the problem appears to be a tax increase on electricity bills.The Energy ministry is currently in talks with the producers, suggesting a 70-30 split of the additional subsidy required.Giorgos Georgiou of the Cyprus Association of Renewable Energy Enterprises (CAREE) told the Cyprus Mail that producers will not consent even to the slightest taxation on business, explaining that the government has an obligation to honour its previous agreements.“When the government came to the private sector looking to push RES, they made certain promises. We took those assurances to possible investors and banks to secure funding and loans, so we could set up our businesses. We can’t go back now and tell them that things have changed,” said Georgiou, noting that a 0.16c increase on the renewable energy tax on electricity bills will solve the problem.“The tax now stands at 0.5c. We are asking that EAC increases that tax to 0.66c which will be more than enough to cover the cost of rendering the fund viable. Cyprus benefits in a multitude of ways from RES production, including honouring its EU obligation.”As an EU member state, Cyprus is required to have 20 per cent of energy production generated by RES by 2020.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Rep Bizon Road work coming to Battle Creek

August 9, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_img01May Rep. Bizon: Road work coming to Battle Creek Categories: Bizon News Project will include lane closuresBattle Creek motorists on M-89 this summer will see about 5 milles of orange barrels as the road is repaved this summer, state Rep. John Bizon announced today.“This work will have a positive impact on the community once it is completed, but will affect those who have to use this road on a daily basis during the summer,” said Rep. Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “I’ll continue to let local residents know whenever something comes up that will have an impact on their daily lives so they can be informed and prepared.”The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be repaving M-89 from Custer Drive to Washington Avenue and Washington Avenue from Michigan Avenue to I-94 Business Loop.Construction will start on May 4 with an anticipated end date of Sept. 4.###last_img read more

first_img17Aug Rep. Cole notifies communities of Mackinac Bridge Walk road closures along I-75 State Rep. Triston Cole today said there will be multiple road closures on I-75 during the Mackinac Bridge Walk on Monday, Sep. 4.For safety and security, the bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to noon.With the closure of the bridge, north and south entrances and exits along Interstate 75 will be closed during the Bridge Walk. The plan is to minimize the number of travelers stranded on the freeway or in gridlock in Mackinaw City waiting for the bridge to reopen.“I do want to make sure businesses are aware of the potential influx of travelers into their communities,” said Rep. Cole, of Mancelona. “There will be an increase in volume of travelers. Communities also need to be prepared for these road closings.”A complete closure at I-75  northbound Exit 282 in Gaylord is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Traffic will be directed off the exit where travelers can get food, water and gas for the duration of the bridge closure.  A closure of the northbound entrance ramp 282 from M-32 in Gaylord is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Other closures on I-75 include:·         A complete closure at Exit 310 northbound in Indian River from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Traffic will be directed off the exit where travelers can get food, gas and water.·         Northbound entrance ramp 326 from Levering Road from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.·         Northbound entrance ramp 322 from Riggsville Road from 9:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.·         Northbound entrance ramp 313 from Old US-27 in Topinabee from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.·          Northbound entrance ramp 310 from M-69 in Indian River from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.·         Northbound entrance ramp 301 from Wolverine Road from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.·         Northbound entrance ramp 290 from Old Mill Street from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Gaylord State Police Post Commander, 1st Lt. Mark Harris has been communicating with local businesses and community leaders about the traffic plans.### Categories: Cole Newslast_img read more

first_imgState Rep. Joe Bellino today voted for funding a Kalamazoo County pilot program that will help people identify if they have a high risk of opioid addiction and steer them toward other forms of pain relief.Bellino, of Monroe, said he fully supports the $700,000 appropriation to help combat the opioid epidemic that has enveloped Michigan and the nation. He said the pilot program could eventually have an impact on the rest of the state.“As a recovering drug and alcohol addict, I can personally attest to the undeniable grip that opioids and other drugs intended to ease pain can have on a person,” Bellino said. “If we can use medical technology to identify which people are more susceptible to addiction, we can proactively prevent them from becoming dependent on the drug and its effects.”The Kalamazoo County program will test Medicaid recipients for indicators of a high risk toward the adverse use of opioids, which will enable doctors to prescribe other medications that may not lead to abuse and overdose.“I believe we should take every opportunity to fiercely battle the rampant cases of addiction, which lead to overdoses,” Bellino said. “We’ve put opioid antidotes in the hands of first responders and others who are working to end overdoses, and now we have to focus on the root cause of addiction and how to avoid it.”The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.#####The legislation is Senate Bill 253. Legislator says addiction, overdoses out of control Categories: Bellino News,Newscenter_img 31Oct Rep. Bellino votes for program to fight state’s opioid epidemiclast_img read more

first_imgPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Kim LaSata, of Bainbridge Township, was joined by Brad Wendzel, president of Coloma Frozen Foods, as a guest during the 2018 State of the State speech today in the state Capitol.“I appreciated having Brad Wendzel join me for tonight’s speech,” LaSata said. “Coloma Frozen Foods is crucial to southwestern Michigan, providing jobs in its factory while also supporting local farms and orchards. It is a part of our region and our state’s future.”##### 23Jan Rep. LaSata invites Coloma Frozen Foods president to State of the State speech Categories: LaSata News,LaSata Photos,News,Photoslast_img

Is ALEC Slowly Unraveling AOL Gets Gone

August 9, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNovember 10, 2014; National JournalThere has been another defection from the American Legislative Exchange Council: AOL. Apparently, there has been no announcement why AOL has decided to make this move, but the decision was made “weeks ago,” according to a recent report. As NPQ has been reporting, this is just the latest in a long line of major corporations that have left the ALEC ranks over the past two years.The landslide began with such corporations as Coca-Cola leaving because of ALEC’s promotion of “stand your ground” legislation, which attracted attention during the course of the George Zimmerman trial over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Since then, ALEC has stopped promoting any models of laws relating to weapons. The latest round of defections is over the legislation models ALEC has been promoting around climate change. Although the organization contends that it is not a climate-change denier, the model legislation it promotes has caused Google’s CEO to consider the company’s funding of the organization “sort of a mistake.”AOL marks the eleventh corporation to announce its cessation of support of ALEC since August of this year. All told, estimates are that 80 corporations have left in the past two years. About a year ago, the Guardian reported that ALEC was facing a financial hole of about $1.4 million in its annual budget. With all the defections that have come this year, things might be getting worse for the organization despite its effort to bring back some former supporters through its “Prodigal Son” initiative.At this point, almost all of the major high tech companies in Silicon Valley have pulled their support. Only eBay and Expedia continue their support; they are currently targets of anti-ALEC activists.—Rob MeiksinsThis article has been amended from its initial form to make the following corrections and addendum. An earlier version listed the number of companies having left ALEC as “thirteen.” The number, as of November 10th, was eleven. An earlier version made reference to a “pending IRS investigation” of ALEC’s activities. Although the investigation was listed as pending in 2012, and supplemental information was given in 2013, NPQ has no knowledge of the disposition of that inquiry.Lastly, some have taken issue with an earlier characterization of Eric Schmidt’s statements. As is noted above, it is ALEC’s position that they do not deny climate change, and since Schmidt said that climate-change deniers, not ALEC in specific, engaged in “just literal lying,” they reject the accusation and the label. However, a reading of the transcript of the quoted interview with Schmidt and the model legislation they propose shows that the issue is more nuanced than that. We have amended the text, and invite our readers to investigate the issue further.  ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare8TweetShare7Email15 SharesJuly 18, 2017; New York TimesThe U.S. government has struggled to fight the successful online recruitment efforts of groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram, including in the U.S., so they have turned for help to the very young people these groups seek to attract. The Department of Homeland Security is asking college students to help it fight the online recruiting efforts of terrorist groups.Readers may remember that relatively large grants aimed at similar purposes were rejected by community groups earlier this year based, in the words of a nonprofit serving the Somali Community, on the administration’s promotion of “hate, fear, uncertainty, and even worse, an unofficial war on Muslim Americans and Immigration.”According to a recent New York Times article, under the Peer to Peer: Challenging Extremism program, an EdVenture program, students are allotted $2,000 a semester “to develop social media campaigns and other tools to counter online recruiting efforts of terrorist groups.” The students are entered into a competition, and the winning school is awarded $5,000. To date, about 50–75 schools participate in the program each year.This past Tuesday, the University of Maryland won this year’s competition with a video game and social media campaign that helps friends and neighbors recognize radicalization in young people. Its project targets white supremacist groups and international criminal gangs.The game, called Operation Genovese, shows a teenager showing signs of radicalization and the player, a potential bystander, has to choose between different options that either go well or don’t. A recent NBC feature on the Maryland win said the goal of the program is to win a war of the mind.Civil liberties groups have criticized government programs to fight extremism, saying that “ideology is not a clear predictor of terrorism,” and Islamic organizations worry that the program is a way to gather information that can be used to arrest Muslims. Interestingly, in the book review section of this past Sunday’s New York Times, Robert Reich said, “The greatest threat to Western liberal democracies in the future is more likely to come from extreme inequality than from Islamic extremism.” Maybe EdVenture will do a program on that.—Cyndi SuarezShare8TweetShare7Email15 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare36TweetShareEmail36 SharesKerry Sanders / Flower FaucetOctober 30, 2018; New York TimesIt would be wise to learn from the experience of the catastrophic (and still ongoing) lead-in-the-water crisis in Flint, Michigan. So in March 2016, when lead was found in the drinking fountains at schools in Newark, New Jersey, city and school officials turned off the water at school drinking fountains and supplied bottled water to students and staff until they could ensure safety.But according to the New York Times, the problem was known to the school district for at least six years before this action was taken. Dealing with this kind of life-impacting issue swiftly and with transparency would have been the responsible thing to do.Newark, like Flint, has a large population of low-income people of color. As one Newark parent stated: “We already have mold, we don’t need lead. I’m afraid we’re getting sick. Nobody seems to care about us out here.”Liz Leyden at the New York Times reports,In Newark, about a quarter of the more than 14,000 children under 6 who were tested in 2016 had measurable levels of lead in their blood, according to an analysis by Advocates for Children of New Jersey of the most recent publicly available state data.“This suggests a pervasive problem throughout the city coming from a variety of sources, and water could easily be one of them,” said Peter Chen, policy counsel at A.C.N.J.[…]In 2017, more than 22 percent of the samples from its water system tested during the first half of the year exceeded 15 parts per billion of lead, the federal threshold requiring action. Elevated levels have remained in the system for each of the ensuing six-month monitoring periods.Up to this point, Newark officials were declaring that the water was safe to drink. Their continuing denial of a widespread lead problem, especially given their knowledge of the debacle in Flint, leaves one scratching one’s head. Newark was and is facing a public health crisis. There is evidence that this is the case. Young children are at risk. And yet, public officials would deny that this is so until they are backed into a corner and have no way out other than to acknowledge it.Fast forward to 2018. After lots of denials, Newark public officials are admitting that there is a problem. Their water is unsafe to drink without being filtered, and the lead problem is more widespread than they had first indicated. Further, it seems to be coming from multiple sources, including from one of its two water treatment plants and the more than 15,000 lead service lines that connect the city’s water main to private plumbing. It could take as long as eight years to replace these pipes.The solutions seem to satisfy few people. The mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, has been on the defensive. “When you make a statement that the drinking water is not safe, it is yelling fire in a crowded room,” he told reporters at a recent news conference. “In fact, Newark has some of the best drinking water. The problem is that our infrastructure is not safe.” But correcting infrastructure is both costly and time-consuming and often not given the highest priority. For the parents of young children of in Newark, nothing is of more importance than basic safety. Once again, the echoes of Flint, Michigan are heard.“The parallels to Flint are fairly clear: The city was denying a problem even though its own data was showing problems,” said Erik Olson, a top official at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which filed a lawsuit against Newark in the summer, accusing it of violating federal safe drinking water laws. “Newark is not as extreme as Flint but still a serious problem.”For residents, nonprofits, business owners, and others who consume water in Newark, skepticism abounds regarding the city’s response. Letters, robocalls, and Facebook town halls were initiated, but they did not reach everyone and in all of this, officials still minimized the problem. Water filters were distributed, but often residents had to find out for themselves where these programs were. The mother who was already was dealing with mold in her apartment had to wait weeks for the water department to test her water for lead levels. When they finally did, it measured 42.2 parts per billion—nearly three times the federal action threshold. Fortunately, she had switched to bottled water when the issue first reared its head in 2016.The parallels between Flint and Newark are, indeed, clear. From the outrage and fears of parents, to the clarity of the evidence, to the obstruction and diversion of the issue by city and state officials, the two cities’ approaches align. Now come the lawsuits, and if we know anything from Flint, it’s that Newark will not come out of these lawsuits a winner. NPQ has written extensively about Flint over the last few years, covering all aspects of this devastating crisis that has left the city in total disarray. Perhaps the leaders of Newark will wake up and smell the coffee…and learn something from their sister city’s experience.—Carole LevineShare36TweetShareEmail36 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgFinland’s planned migration of its digital-terrestrial platform to the DVB-T2 standard and the more efficient single-frequency network (SFN) system faces a number of challenges and considerable uncertainty as to timing, according to Tauno Äijälä, member of the board at commercial broadcaster MTV Media Finland.Äijälä, speaking at the IP&TV World Forum yesterday, said that a number of issues were likely to bring delays to the migration.The Finnish government has given telco DNA and DTT broadcaster Digita permission to offer services using the DVB-T2 standard, with the latter permitted to migrate for former DVB-H service to the new standard. However, while DVB-T2 services are VHF-based, people who had VHF aerials have largely replaced these with UHF equipment that is compatible with DVB-T broadcasts, said Äijälä. Additionally, transmissions from DNA and Digita come from different transmitters, requiring separate aerials, or dual-feed aerials, to pick up their signals, he said.Finland is currently transmitting 12 DVB T2 HD channels, out of a total of 63 channels. About 20% of Finnish households have access to DVB-T2 services and DVB-T2-based HD services have a 3% share of viewing. The Finnish government yesterday issued three more licences for the DVB-T2-based multiplex F on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform.A DVB-T2 migration programme should be prepared by the government this spring. According to Äijälä, it is however likely to recommend that there should be a compulsory switchover to DVB-T2 in the foreseeable future. Finland achieved DVB-T digital switchover was achieved in 2007 and few people are aware of T2, according to Äijälä. DVB-T signals will be continue to be transmitted until at least 2016, so there is no immediate need to make the switch to the new standard. Äijälä said that the country’s current network and broadcaster licences, with one exception, are set to expire at the end of 2016, after which a faster migration could be implemented.Äijälä said that the government had plans to implement a programme to reduce regulation and improve the effeciency of DTT by moving from multi-frequency network (MFN) to SFN transmission between 2017-26.However, although the country will move to SFN, at least one MFN multiplex will be required to enable local opt-out programming and local advertising. Four digital multiplexes will ultimately be developed to cover the entire country, said Äijälä.last_img read more

first_imgUK pay TV operator BSkyB has made further changes to its board as part of the ongoing programme to replace current directors as they retire.Gail Rebuck has retired as a director after a nine-year stint, during which she served as a member of the board’s Audit Committee and as chairman of the Bigger Picture Committee. She has been replaced by Tracy Clarke, who has been appointed to the board as an independent non-executive director.Clarke is group head of human resources and communications at Standard Chartered Bank, where she has worked for over 26 years in a variety of roles in human resources, corporate affairs, wholesale and retail banking in the UK and Hong Kong.Nicholas Ferguson, chairman of BSkyB, said: “On behalf of the board and shareholders, I would like to express our gratitude to Dame Gail Rebuck for her very significant contribution to BSkyB. Her expertise and counsel have been greatly valued during a period of successful growth for the company. In particular, I would like to pay tribute to her support, through her chairmanship of the Bigger Picture committee, for BSkyB’s growing contribution to the community in which we operate. We are delighted to welcome Tracy Clarke to the board and look forward to her contribution over the coming years. Her expertise in banking, corporate affairs, human resources and leadership and team development will further strengthen the skills of our board.”last_img read more

first_imgSatellite operator SES ended September with three quarters of a million paying customers for its HD platform HD Plus.The operator launched HD Plus in the German market three years ago. After adding 127,000 new paying customers during the third quarter, it ended September with a total of 761,456.HD Plus customers receive the service, which includes 14 HD channels, free of charge for a 12-month period.  SES said there were a total of 2,039,175 households receiving the service for free, up 23% year-on-year. With many of these households coming to the end of the free period, SES said is was confident it would have over one million paying subscribers by the end of the year.Wilfried Urner, CEO of HD Plus, said: “Just three years after its launch, HD Plus is an immovable force in the German TV market and an important growth driver. The record levels in Q3 underline this development. HD TV will remain an important growth driver for the entire television industry for many years.”last_img read more

first_imgAmazon-owned online video-on-demand service provider Lovefilm has struck a deal with Saban Brands to bring the back-catalogue of kids series Power Rangers to its Lovefilm Instant streaming service.The deal will bring 20 years’ worth of Power Rangers to Lovefilm subscribers, from the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers through to the most recent Super Samurai season, in HD.The Saban Brands deal also brings live action series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation to Lovefilm customers.Chris Bird, director, film strategy at Lovefilm, said:
”We already have a fantastic range of kids content on offer for our younger TV and film fans. Power Rangers – celebrating 20 years this year – has a huge global following and is popular across the generations. This deal with Saban Brands will bring the series to a whole new audience of children and will also ensure that grown-ups can catch up and reminisce on their favourite episodes instantly.”last_img read more

first_imgVideo technology provider Harmonic has named George Stromeyer as its new senior vice-president of worldwide sales.Prior to joining Harmonic, Stromeyer most recently headed worldwide sales efforts for Cisco’s US$2 billion information security business. During his career at Cisco, Stromeyer also led the company’s European cable, digital media, and IPTV service provider sales division.“George brings a strong track record of leading high-performing sales organizations and driving profitable growth, which are central to accelerating Harmonic’s global growth strategy,” said Patrick Harshman, CEO and president at Harmonic. “George is the third executive to join Harmonic’s senior leadership team from a world-class company in the past year. Strengthening our management team ensures that Harmonic can quickly respond to changing market needs while providing outstanding next-generation video infrastructure solutions.”last_img read more

first_imgAMC/Sundance Channel Global has hired Gustavo Lopez as its VP, global distribution for Latin America, ahead of its launch in the region.The VP of global distribution and business development for Latin America role is a new one and has been created ahead of the launch of Sundance Channel on DirecTV Latin America.The DirecTV deal will give Sundance distribution across seven countries in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.Lopez will be based in Miami and will look for distribution deals with other pay TV operators in Latin America. He will also oversee marketing throughout the region and will report to Ed Palluth, executive vice-president, global distribution, AMC/Sundance Channel Global.Prior to joining AMC/Sundance Channel Global, Lopez was vice president and regional Counsel for Discovery Communications and managed all of its legal and regulatory matters in Latin America and the US Hispanic market. Before joining Discovery he was senior director, legal affairs at HBO Latin America.last_img read more

first_imgTurner Broadcasting has promoted Cecilia Persson to the newly created role of vice-president, acquisitions and co-productions, kids, EMEA and international. Persson will oversee and negotiate shared acquisitions for Turner Broadcasting’s international kids business, working with the local heads of programming and acquisitions of each of the channels and the content heads within EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific.Persson was previously vice-president, acquisitions and co-productions, EMEA.last_img

first_imgContent recognition app Shazam has rolled out a “streamlined second screen experience for TV in the US” with a new update to its iOS mobile app. From today, Shazam said that users will see a new look for the app that will make it easier for TV viewers to access content around dramas, comedies and reality shows.“Shazam users can Shazam any show on the 160 channels that Shazam supports in the US,” the firm said.Shazam has also added new Facebook integration as part of the Facebook Audience Network, which will see users receive customised ad results in Shazam, and is featuring content like videos and artist interviews more in its search results.The update rolls out first on iOS with an update for Android to follow shortly.At the same time, Shazam has signed a partnership with NCM Media Networks in the US.NCM owns a network of 3,000 cinemas, including the Regal, AMC and Cinemark brands and, as part of the deal, all of its pre-film content – including ads, interviews and behind-the-scenes content – will be ‘Shazamable’ so viewers can get more information and bonus content.last_img read more

first_imgDeutsche Telekom-owned Romanian service provider Telekom Romanian has added Paramount Channel and Nick Jr to its line-up.The channels, available via the operator’s IPTV, digital cable and digital satellite platforms, will be included in its TV S basic and TV M packages respectively.last_img

first_imgFrank ThorupTV technology company Xstream has named Simon Høgsbro as its new CEO, replacing Frank Thorup, who is stepping down after 15 years.over on March 16. Prior to joining Xstream, he led New Zealand-based VoD service Lightbox’s incubation from its strategy and business planning phase to launch. Lightbox marked service provider Spark New Zealand’s entry into the OTT SVoD space, set up as a standalone business selling to all New Zealand ISP customers.Thorup, who founded Xstream in 1999 will continue as Director Xstream Americas where he will continue to build and strengthen the company’s brand and presence in the North and South American markets, according to the company.“It is a great feeling to see a company like Xstream evolve the way it has. I am pleased that we have been able to attract Simon to the position as CEO for Xstream. Simon has a long and impressive career in various tier 1 companies behind him and recently had remarkable success in his responsibility for the launch of Spark New Zealand’s OTT SVOD service, Lightbox. Now with Simon joining as the new CEO of Xstream, I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to take my family and move to the USA and contribute to further growth and expansion of our operations as Director for Xstream Americas. I’m looking forward to creating an even stronger footprint in the American market as the region is a key focus for Xstream, a market that we believe we can add significant value to”. Said Frank Thorup, founder and CEO at Xstream.last_img read more

first_imgGrowth in Portuguese broadband was driven by fibre connections in the first quarter of this year, with 50,000 net additions, according to figures compiled by regulator ANACOM.According to the regulator, ADSL still accounts for the largest portion of broadband users, at 37.4% of the total, but with a declining share. Cable accounts for 35.1% of the total.Portugal had 2.9 million broadband subscribers at the end of March, with the vast majority taking the service as part of a bundle.Portugal Telecom is the market leader with a 47.7% share, followed by cable and pay TV operator Nos with 35.4%. Cable operator Cabovisão holds a 5% share. Vodafone was the only service provider to raise its share of the fixed broadband market, adding 3.5 percentage points to give it an 11.3% market share.Portugal Telecom’s Meo took the largest slice of the mobile broadband market, with a 48.6% share, followed by Nos with 27% and Vodafone with 24.1%. In this case, Nos and Meo increased their shares, while Vodafone’s share of mobile fell by 6.6 percentage points.last_img read more

first_imgDavid Bouchier and event host Andi Peters at Virgin Media’s V6 launchVirgin Media has unveiled its new ‘home entertainment experience’, based on its new 4K UHD TV enabled V6 box, along with three new innovations – a download-to-own store, a new kids app and an own-branded large-format table companion screen, dubbed the TellyTablet.As part of its next-generation TV launch, Virgin Media is launching the Virgin media store – a new electronic sell-through proposition. “It is becoming harder for rights owner to make a success of the old DVD retail market. We will have the most comprehensive UK download to own store,” said David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer, Virgin Media, speaking at a launch event in London this morning.Titles available through the store will include Game of Thrones.Virgin will provide a personal locker for users to store their downloaded films and series episodes as well as making these available on devices.Virgin Media will provide physical DVDs as well as electronic copies. The service will have titles available in the same EST window used by pay TV rival Sky.Bouchier told Digital TV Europe that the store would launch with all the major studios’ content. “We think it will have thousands of hours of content,” he said.Virgin Media has also created a new advertising-free kids app, aimed at pre-school kids. “We have created the app in a way that allows you to lock the screen – it is a complete walled garden,” said Bouchier.One feature is a new ‘five times repeat’ button which allows kids to repeat favourite shows five times – something that is, said Bouchier, extremely popular with young kids. “There is method in our madness with this,” he said. Kids can personalise the app by changing the background colour and creating their own avatar.“We have the best kids proposition in the UK,” said Bouchier.The TellyTabletVirgin Media is also making the TellyTablet, a personal smart TV, available to its subscribers. The Samsung-supplied device comes with an eight-hour battery-life, four speakers and a 14-inch screen. The device will be available as part of a package with mobile devices from tomorrow for pre-order. “We were not happy that the full HD experience was being carried through to [existing retail] devices,” said Bouchier.The large-format tablet is “made for binge-viewing”, said Bouchier.While the V6 box is 4K UHD-enabled and Bouchier said that the box would enable viewers to access 4K content from Netflix and YouTube, he told Digital TV Europe that Virgin Media had no further plans to launch 4K UHD services at present.“The box can do it. We know BT and Sky have 4K but they can’t create a price point that their customers are prepared to pay for. The step up from HD to 4K is not as great as it was from SD to HD. We can do it, but we are waiting to see,” he said, adding that the V6 would also support HDR TV when available.“[The box] has the Broadcom chipset in it that can do HDR. Broadcom need to do a new driver to all of their chipsets and we think that will come in the middle of the year,” he said.Speaking about the V6 launch generally, Bouchier was keen to differentiate Virgin’s offering from Sky.“This is an evolution. We want to bring our existing customers with us. We won’t have BBC1 seven clicks away and we don’t bury TV behind apps promoting products we want to promote,” he said, without specifically mentioning the obvious target of this barb, Sky’s advanced TV platform, Sky Q.The V6 and remoteBouchier said that the V6 was nevertheless “built for apps” and includes services such as Vevo and NBC’s Hayu as well as Netflix. “We are not just pushing our own products and services. We follow what our customers want.”The box can record up to six shows at once, which makes Virgin “the market leader”, Bouchier said, adding that this had been challenging, and would be hard for rival players to emulate.Bouchier said the box removed the problem of clashes around the home and a 1TB hard drive game ample room to store recordings.The V6 can also stream to other devices around the home and can sync recordings to enable them to be viewed on smartphones and tablets.The device comes with a new remote control is RF-based meaning it does not need a line of sight with the box. Bouchier highlighted the fact that the remote still has a “highly useful button called Guide”, in another dig at Sky.Virgin Media has refreshed it TiVo-based UI. “We haven’t left our existing customers behind – the new UI has been downloaded to all existing TiVo boxes,” said Bouchier.Long lists have been replaced with a tile-based mosaic type guide. Web services can be integrated into the guide to highlight special events-related content online. The guide includes access to box sets and other features.Virgin Media has already trailed another key feature, Series Link+, which highlights on-demand episodes of shows in viewers’ personal TV folders alongside their recordings of recent episodes, for example.“This is very clever and shows our open minded approach to taking in apps as well as linear programming,” said Bouchier.The launch also includes a new TV Anywhere service. Viewers can use the app to set recordings, search via a tablet and swipe to the main screen, among other new features.The V6 will be available to existing customers from before the end of this yea. Top-tier customers can get it for £49.95 (€58.60) upfront, while the standard price of the service is £99.95. New customers will be able to sign up for the V6 from January.The TellyTablet is available from £10 a month as part of Virgin Media’s mobile packages, or for £299 standalone.last_img read more