O2 and Virgin Media confirm historic £31 billion merger

The rumours proved to be true: O2 and Virgin Media have confirmed their intention to merge in a £31 billion deal.

Telefonica and Liberty Global, owners of O2 and Virgin Media respectively, have put out a joint statement today confirming the 50-50 joint venture which “brings together Virgin Media, the UK’s fastest broadband network, and O2, the country’s largest mobile platform.”

Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefonica, said: “Combining O2’s number one...

Speedtest: Networks in North America and Europe are handling remote working demand

Speedtest by Ookla has updated its report analysing the impact remote working is having on global networks.

Telecoms covered the initial release of Speedtest’s report towards the end of last month. At the time, a slight decrease in mean fixed and mobile broadband performance was observed across North American and European countries between March 16th-22nd.

Speedtest has now updated its statistics to account for the following week.

Fixed broadband...

British internet providers commit to measures helping people isolate

Internet providers in the UK have agreed to a package of measures designed to help people isolate.

The British government struck a deal with BT/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “It’s fantastic to see mobile and broadband providers pulling together to do their bit for the national effort by helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable, who may be...

Akamai will slow game downloads to reduce internet congestion

Content delivery network Akamai has announced it will be throttling game downloads in order to reduce internet congestion.

With people told to stay in their homes to help “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus spread, games are a way to remain connected with friends and remember what life outside four walls looks like.

However, as you’d expect, billions of people downloading games and playing together online consumes a large chunk of bandwidth.

Akamai...

Speedtest: Coronavirus is slowing internet speeds across the US and Europe

Ookla Speedtest is reporting a noticeable degradation of internet speeds in the US and Europe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The drop in speeds has been most noticeable over the past week as more countries increase their lockdown measures, including the UK’s announcement yesterday.

Broadband speeds

In the US, the mean broadband speed dropped from around 140Mbps starting the week of March 9th, to around 133Mbps in the week beginning March 16th.

Canada also suffered...

EU asks Netflix to lower its quality as people isolate from coronavirus

The EU has asked Netflix to lower its video quality as more people use the service to bring some joy during their coronavirus lockdowns.

Netflix typically accounts for around 13 percent of global internet traffic and has required an increasing amount of bandwidth as the streaming giant releases an increasing library of 4K and HDR content.

Over concerns that an expected surge in Netflix traffic may cause networks to grind to a halt during a time they’re needed most, the EU...

Unearthing strategic full fibre opportunities as 5G looms: A UK analysis

Digital Britain is still clearly very much a work in progress, yet 2025 is now very much in sight: the government’s pledge of full fibre connections (FTTP) the length and breadth of the country is looming large. Many currently underserved broadband consumers, businesses and public sector users have understandably high expectations.

At present FTTP broadband network connections offering ultrafast...

FCC announces rules for $20 billion allocation of rural broadband funds

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on rules later this month for the distribution of over $20 billion in rural broadband funds.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced the rules on Wednesday for the funds that will not only support rural broadband providers, but also companies that have previously been ineligible for subsidies including wireless firms, electric co-ops, and cable providers.

The funds will be distributed over 10 years with the intention of finally...

Labour’s free state broadband pledge causes widespread concern

Several figures and bodies have warned about the potential impact of Labour’s free state broadband pledge ahead of the UK general election.

For the world’s fifth-largest economy, Britain’s broadband is pitiful. Research conducted by Cable ranks the UK 34th globally with a mean download speed of 22.3Mbps. Even worse, around 10 percent of households are still unable to access fibre broadband.

With the UK’s general election looming, sorting out...

UK government pledges £5bn for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025

During the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged £5 billion for gigabit broadband in every home by 2025.

Standing on the steps of Downing Street following his election in July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the rollout of gigabit broadband one of his key pledges. The chancellor has now committed public money to help achieve Johnson’s pledge.

"We are setting out plans to invest £5bn to support the rollout of full-fibre, 5G and...