BBWN Bites: High-Speed Broadband May Help Cut Unemployment – Report
Also in today's roundup: Telecom Italia sheds assets and Telefónica fights fires with drones in Spain.
Tennessee counties with access to high-speed broadband had 0.26% lower unemployment compared to counties with low-speed broadband, according to a study of 95 counties from 2011 to 2016 by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Oklahoma State University. Early adoption can reduce unemployment up to 0.16%, the report suggests. That doesn't sound like a lot, but more data is needed. Researchers now plan to repeat their study, released during Fiber Broadband Association's Fiber Connect in Orlando, across the entire nation to determine whether and how high-speed broadband impacts unemployment as a whole, said FBA President and CEO Lisa Youngers during the event.
Telecom Italia will sell broadcast division Persidera for €240 million ($271 million) to F2i, an Italian private equity business, and network infrastructure provider El Towers, if regulators approve. As TIM preps for its 5G debut, the Italian incumbent wants to reduce debt by about €160 million or $180 million. (See Telecom Italia Chips Away at Debt With Persidera Sale.)
Macquarie subsidiary MEIF 6 Fibre wants to buy UK operator KCOM for £563 million ($710 million). As a result, KCOM withdrew its prior recommendation to accept an April 23 offer of £504 million ($636 million) by retirement fund Humber Bidco, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
Nokia Spain, in conjunction with Nokia Bell Labs in Madrid, is teaming up with Telefónica on a testbed designed to help the service provider customize and enhance the user experience in 5G-supported media and entertainment services. The partners will deploy 5G network infrastructure -- including core and radio access networks plus an edge computing platform tested as an alternative to content delivery networks -- in the 5TONIC lab.
In other Telefónica news from Spain, the operator collaborated with Carlos II University of Madrid, Divisek and Dronitec to deploy a drone IoT solution for early detection (and prevention) of forest fires. The pilot (pilotless?) program uses Telefónica's cell towers equipped with thermal sensors to detect fire outbreaks up to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away, plus sensors and two cameras.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.