Altice takes 12.1% stake in BT due to ‘compelling’ full-fibre opportunity

French telecoms giant Altice has taken a 12.1 percent stake in BT to become the company’s largest stakeholder.

Altice, a company owned by billionaire Patrick Drahi, has established a UK subsidiary for the purposes of holding a stake in BT.

Despite acquiring such a sizable stake in BT, Altice UK says that it does not intend to make a takeover bid of the country’s largest telecoms operator.

Altice UK says its interest in BT is due to the “compelling...

Telcos will be leaders in cloud adoption by 2022 if they deliver on plans

A report from Infosys has found that telecoms firms will be leaders in cloud adoption if they deliver on their migration plans.

Despite the telecoms industry representing a small subset (4%) of the study, the researchers noted how telcos are leading in cloud adoption—focusing their efforts on deploying AI and automation, developing predictive maintenance capabilities, and expanding 5G offerings.

While the pandemic slowed cloud adoption in many industries, the telecoms...

CMA green lights £31B merger of telecoms giants Virgin and O2

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has given the green light to a £31 billion merger of telecoms giants Virgin and O2.

Provisional approval of the deal was granted last month but today’s announcement clears the companies to form a combined entity that can better compete against BT/EE after their own £12.5 billion merger in 2016.

Virgin and O2 both sell wholesale services to a number of mobile operators in the UK. In the case of Virgin, their wholesale...

BT announces Home Essentials fibre tariff for eligible benefit claimants

BT has announced a new fibre tariff for eligible benefit claimants to help ensure that everyone can access the opportunities provided by a reliable internet connection.

The new “social tariff” is called BT Home Essentials and offers connectivity for £15/month – approximately half the cost of BT’s standard package. Over the course of a year, the new tariff will save customers around £240 compared to BT’s Fibre Essential package.

BT Home Essentials provides an...

Openreach: Full-fibre would be ‘game-changing’ for the UK economy

A report commissioned by Openreach highlights the “game-changing” impact that full-fibre will have on various regions of the UK.

The report, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), calls full-fibre a “gamechanger” for London, the South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber, North West, and North East.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:

“Cebr’s previous research...

Virgin Media hits 2.2Gbps speeds in latest broadband innovation trial

Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media has successfully completed a broadband innovation trial in which it achieved multi-gigabit speeds.

In the trial, Virgin Media achieved speeds of 2,200Mbps in Manchester and Southampton—around 40 times faster than average local connections.

Jeanie York, Virgin Media’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said:

“We invest more than £1 billion into our network every year to deliver leading connectivity today, but our...

Virgin and O2’s merger is granted provisional approval

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has granted provisional regulatory approval of Virgin’s proposed merger with O2.

In November last year, the European Commission – which, pre-Brexit, had regulatory oversight over the deal – referred the proposed merger to the UK’s competition regulator.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, said at the time:

“These are incredibly important UK markets, that continue to evolve, and the deal needs to be...

FCC wants the public to help measure actual broadband speeds

The FCC is encouraging the public to download and use its Speed Test app to help the regulator gain a greater understanding of the speeds consumers are actually receiving.

Data used by regulators is often not representative of real-world experiences. The FCC’s broadband coverage maps, for example, have come under repeated scrutiny for being inaccurate—predominately due to what internet access advocates claim is a weak definition of coverage by the FCC which allows carriers to...

White House says broadband ‘is the new electricity’ as it pledges connectivity for all

President Joe Biden is returning to where his campaign started in Pittsburgh to launch a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, including a pledge to ensure connectivity for all.

The eight-year plan will see $100 billion spent on deploying broadband to underserved communities across rural America.

In a release, the White House wrote:

“President Biden believes that building out broadband infrastructure isn’t enough. We also must ensure that every American who...

BT proposes a £1,500 bonus for its vital frontline workers

Telecoms workers are the unsung heroes which kept the nation connected when it needed it most, and BT wants to recognise their efforts with a £1,500 bonus.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, commented:

“BT has made a massive contribution to the national cause over the past year: we’ve supported the NHS, families and businesses, and avoided the use of redundancy or furlough in our response to the pandemic.

Our frontline colleagues and key workers have been true heroes,...