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...

CityFibre begins rollout of full-fibre connectivity in Bath with £25M investment

CityFibre, the largest independent provider of full-fibre networks, has begun rolling out connectivity in the historical city of Bath.

Homes and businesses in the old Roman city of Bath will soon have access to the modern wonder of full-fibre broadband thanks to a £25 million investment by CityFibre.

Neil Madle, CityFibre’s City Manager for Bath, said:

“Bath is a historic city most often associated with the likes of Jane Austen and its Roman Baths, but...

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...

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,...

SpaceX’s fourth Starlink launch in under a month deploys another 60 satellites

SpaceX has successfully completed its fourth Starlink mission in under a month, adding a further 60 satellites to its constellation.

The latest batch of SpaceX’s broadband satellites brings the total launched this month to an incredible 240.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1374655811146768386

As usual, SpaceX used its Falcon-9 rocket for the mission. What’s particularly impressive about this launch is the flight-prove booster served on five previous...