Also in today's news roundup: Vodafone strikes a wholesale deal, former France Telecom execs stand trial for harassment.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the "Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act," which would require the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, to conduct a study of the effects of broadband deployment and adoption on the US economy. The senators, co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus, are concerned the federal government measures the economic impact of many industries, but does not produce current, reliable statistics on the economic impact of broadband on the US economy. Said Klobuchar (also a Democrat presidential candidate):
On the 2020 Political Agenda: Broadband
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), running for president in 2020, has co-sponsored a bill to measure broadband's economic impact. (Source: Twitter)
"In the 21st-century economy, broadband is a critical force for creating jobs, leveling the playing field, and increasing opportunity. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that we have more reliable, publicly available economic data in order to make informed decisions about expanding broadband, connecting our communities, and keeping us competitive in an increasingly digital world."
Vodafone inked a wholesale deal with Telefónica Deutschland, giving Telefónica Deutschland access to the combined Vodafone/Unitymedia high-speed broadband network covering about 23.7 million German households. This agreement will help UK-based Vodafone get approval for its proposed €18.4 billion (US$20.93 billion) acquisition of Liberty Global's cable business in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, which European regulators are scrutinizing.
Deutsche Telekom -- which is arguing against the Vodafone deal -- completed a rebranding initiative. DT merged subsidiaries T-Mobile Austria and UPC Austria into Magenta Telekom, which will provide both fixed-line and mobile services in Austria.
Seven former senior executives at France Telecom, which became Orange, are on trial this week for allegedly creating (and, some have charged, exulting in) an atmosphere of terror that drove at least 19 employees to commit suicide, reported UK's The Telegraph. The reign of terror reportedly included relocating employees far from their families; moving people's jobs multiple times a year; "forgetting" workers after moving offices and leaving them in old locales without furniture or phones; and other mental, physical and emotional cruelties. Former President of France Telecom, Didier Lombard, second-in-command Louis-Pierre Wenes and former Human Resources Director Olivier Barberot face a maximum year in prison and €15,000 fine ($16,779.90). Four other executives face charges of complicity. The company faces a €75,000 ($83,899.50) fine. All pled not guilty.
Read the France Telecom story as it unfolded in Light Reading:
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