BBWN Bites: Amazon Mesh WiFi May Mess Up UK Operators
Also, TIM says Ciao to chairman, FCC tightens up satellite rules, Telenet brings high-speed broadband to Belgians and CityFibre hopes to score a gigabit goal in Northampton.
In November, Amazon will bring its eero mesh WiFi router to the UK, where it may face off against fixed-access broadband vendors and operators. Indeed, Newspaper Express set-up eero as a rival to BT and Virgin Media broadband -- but reminded readers the Amazon device needs Internet from BT or Virgin et al. And no, Amazon isn't supplying that (not yet). Perhaps Amazon will be an ally, as some US companies have found.
Telecom Italia's Fulvo Conti is chairman no longer. After one year, Conti apparently ceded to the demands of TIM's largest shareholder Vivendi, which wanted him gone from Day One. Conti took the role at the behest of Elliot Management (the same activist investment firm up in AT&T's grill), which took control of TIM's board from Vivendi. Director Michele Valensise will act as chairman until TIM appoints a replacement next month. Light Reading's Paul Rainford has followed the soap opera for a while. Catch up on the drama here: Eurobites: Summer Lovin' at Telcom Italia and Elliott ups Telecom Italia stake as It battles Vivendi for control.)
The FCC updated rules for direct broadcast satellite services (DBS), aligning them to the revised rules for geostationary orbit fixed-satellite service satellites. The Report and Order now considers new DBS applications on a first-come, first-served basis; uses the same milestone and bond requirements on both GEO and DBS satellites; extends license term of non-broadcast DBS space stations to 15 years and ends the current freeze on DBS applications.
Telenet said 3 million-plus customers in Flanders and Brussels now can access gigabit speeds, after completion of the Belgian cable operator's "Big Net-works." Under the five-year plan, Telnet invested €500 million (about $547 million) on upgrades, it said.
Northampton may have a fourth-rate football team, but CityFibre plans to transform the place into a Gigabit City. The UK altnet just kicked off its high-speed, fiber-only infrastructure investment; as the network become accessible, partner Vodafone plans to offer Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, starting in early 2020 with most scheduled for completion in 2022.
High Drama in TIM Boardroom
Only a year ago, activist investment firm Elliot Management installed Fulvo Conti as chairman. Like a daytime soap or something reality show host Maury Povich (pictured) would dream up, 12 months later, shareholder Vivendi takes back control -- and asks Conti to leave.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.