Aiming to boost its appeal to international travellers, Wellington Airport has proposed removing the International Departure Fee.In a pricing proposal to airlines presented earlier this month, the airport’s chief executive John Howarth explained that removing the fee would also remove “passenger frustration”. “Removing the fee will raise the standard of the passenger experience to the level expected of a sophisticated central city airport,” Mr Howarth said.“As part of our continuing efforts to make international travel more competitive and promote new routes and additional services to the Capital, Wellington Airport has proposed reducing international charges and incentivising new growth with a published discount structure available to all airlines.” The year-long proposal was compiled by the airport to determine aeronautical pricing, the cost airlines would pay to continue using its facilities and infrastructure from 1 April next year.As part of the report handed to airlines, Wellington Airport said it would decrease the cost for international service per passenger by up to $7 over the next five years, while domestic services would see an increase between $0.37 and $1.79 each year.The size of the aircraft flying in will also contribute to the overall cost of flying in and out of the airport.“Wellington Airport has a single runway which can accommodate 35 flights an hour in good weather,” Mr Howarth said.“That capacity is now being approached at peak times and even though the charge to land a small regional aircraft is around 20 times less than a domestic jet carrying 180 people, the slot each aircraft occupies is the same. “The pricing proposal explores the potential to provide an incentive for smaller aircraft to operate during off peak times, freeing up the limited capacity for larger aircraft to accommodate growth.”Wellington Airport also proposed an investment of up to $67 million in aeronautical assets and upgrades, including explansion of terminal buildings, enhancing safety systems and airfield improvements. Having received the proposal, the airporth as issued the airlines a 7 October deadline for feedback on proposed changes.New prices will not be implemented until the “open and comprehensive” process of the proposal has been completed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Housing Permits Soar Highest Since September 2008 in Data, Government, Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Department of Commerce Homebuilders Housing Affordability Housing Permits Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Residential Construction Service Providers 2012-06-19 Mark Lieberman Share Housing permits soared in May to their highest level since September 2008, surging 7.9 percent to 780,000, the “”Census Bureau””:http://www.census.gov/ and “”HUD””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD reported jointly Tuesday, but housing starts dropped 4.8 percent to 708,000, giving back all of April’s gains.[IMAGE]At the same time, permits for April were revised upward to 723,000 from the originally reported 715,000. April housing starts were also revised to 744,000, up from the originally reported 717,000.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected increases in both areas, with 736,000 permits and 720,000 starts.Total housing completions fell to 598,000, a 10.3 percent drop, the first decline in four months. April completions were revised up to 667,000 from the originally reported 651,000.Multifamily (five or more units) activity accounted for most of [COLUMN_BREAK]the increase in permits, 40,000 of the reported 57,000 increase in May. Multifamily starts fell 57,000, more than the total 36,000 decline as single family starts increased.Of the housing completions, builders completed 458,000 single-family homes in May, a 6.3 percent drop from the 489,000 completed in April (unchanged from the initial report), compared with the 343,000 new home sales reported for April. Even with the month-over-month drop, total starts in May were up 28.5 percent from May 2011 and permits were up 25.0 percent from the year’s earlier activity. Total completions were up 10.1 percent from last year.The census data covered the same month for which the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.com/ reported builder confidence ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô measured by the Housing Market Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose to 28 (out of 100) from 24. Any HMI reading below 50 is considered to signal a contraction. Builder confidence for June as reported Monday by NAHB.Permits rose in three of the four Census regions, falling only in the Northeast, down to 81,000 from 88,000 in April. But permits soared to 399,000 in the South from 359,000 in April. In the West permits jumped to 179,000 in May from 162,000 in April while in the Midwest permits rose to 121,000 from 114,000 in April.Starts rose sharply in the West to 167,000 from 146,000 in April but fell in the three other Census regions, falling to 367,000 in May from 391,000 in April in the South, dropping to 111,000 in May from 128,000 in the Midwest and slipping to 63,000 in May from 79,000 in April in the Northeast. June 19, 2012 438 Views
Comments Share Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ The Arizona Cardinals are out of the playoff picture but they still have opportunities to disrupt other teams’ playoff hopes.Starting with the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. “They’re a good football team, it’s defintely going to be a challenge but we’re excited about being at home,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It will be a good chance to see how we stack up.”The Cardinals have won their last two matchups against the Cowboys including last year’s 27-26 victory on Christmas night. The Cardinals defense has averaged 18.25 points against the past four games, a huge improvement since their first 7 games that dug them into a 1-6 hole. Tony Romo is the player to watch on the Cowboys. As Romo goes, so do the Cowboys.“He’s a guy that is scary because he makes plays,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s always looking down the field even when he has to scramble or move in the pocket.”The Cardinals have won three out of their last four games and would improve to 5-7 with a win over Dallas.“We’ve played better in a number of areas, our guys are excited about this opportunity and hopefully we’ll play well,” Whisenhunt said. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
No damage to any turtles or the environment was caused by the setting up of a stage on the Anassa hotel’s Asprokremmos beach in Akamas, Paphos, earlier this week, the agriculture ministry announced on Friday.In a statement, the ministry said that a joint team from the environment, fisheries, and forestry departments carried out on-site inspections during the dismantling of the stage, which had been set up for the three-day wedding party of a Russian millionaire.“Any changes caused by the use of machinery on the beach were restored following today’s work manually under the supervision of the departments and the [Paphos] district officer,” the statement said.According to the ministry, inspections showed that no turtle nests existed under the stage, and that other nests nearby were unaffected by work to set up the stage.It was also found that no additional sand, soil, or other material was brought to the beach at any point.“The ministry’s departments will continue to monitor the situation to safeguard the sea-turtles’ nesting sites,” the statement said.Pictures of bulldozers on the beach near turtle nests in the Natura-designated area earlier this week sparked public outcry on social media.The hotel replied that no damage to the environment or any turtles had been or would be caused, and that it had secured a permit from the Paphos district officer for the event, but this was promptly rescinded.After some confusion over which government agency was really in charge of authorizing or denying the event, it was clarified that the beach was designated a national forest, and thus it fell under the authority of the Forestry department.However, due to the presence of sea-turtles and the Natura designation, even the forestry department would have required the sign-off of the fisheries and environment departments before making any decision.This red tape was identified as the root cause of the affair by the Commercial and Technical Chamber.In a statement, the chamber said that the issue of which department is responsible for what must be resolved immediately.“This instance is a monument of shoddiness, miscommunication, and inability to apply the law by authorities tasked with environmental protection, even in areas of extreme environmental sensitivity,” the chamber said.It asked why the district commissioner, who issued a permit for use of the beach in the first place, did not order the monitoring of any work done at the site, since it was a known nesting beach of endangered turtles.The chamber added that for many years it has asked the state to treat the environment as a national treasure and expressed deep concern over its failure and shortcomings.While recognizing the revocation of the permit and the ending of work on the beach, the chamber insisted that the state must apply the law and assign responsibility for the incident wherever appropriate. You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoMacy'sYou Will Not Believe Macy’s Deals for TuesdayMacy’sUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
The nine migrants whose bodies were found washed up on shore in the north earlier this month were on Saturday buried there.The ceremony took place at the cemetery in Lefka.The funeral was attended by ‘Foreign Minister’ in the north Kudret Ozersay, mayor of Lefka Aziz Kaya and relatives of the deceased from the free areas who had crossed over for the occasion.You May LikeHolzkernWood and Stone crafted timepieces: You’ve never experienced a watch like this.HolzkernUndoObsevThe National Park From Alaska People Don’t Dare To VisitObsevUndoTettybettyThe Stars of “Game of Thrones” – In and Out of CostumeTettybettyUndo Clear winner in first round of Kition bishop voteUndoLimassol police investigating attempted murderUndoUK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
14Mar House approves Griffin’s bill to give schools financial flexibility for facility improvements Categories: Featured news,Griffin News,News The Michigan House of Representatives today approved Rep. Beth Griffin’s legislation to allow school districts to make energy efficiency and operational upgrades to school facilities by entering into a lease-purchase agreement.The bill will provide another financing option for schools to achieve savings through energy efficiency and operational improvement projects.“Conservation projects that qualify are improvements to local school buildings that reduce energy consumption such as heating and cooling upgrades or the installation of more efficient lighting,” said Rep. Griffin, of Mattawan.Operational improvements to phones and technological updates are included in the conservation projects as well.Griffin, who is also a former schoolteacher, said that a lease-purchase agreement is not considered a debt, which allows school districts to fund projects that may have not been within budget.“This will afford school districts the opportunity to save money on much needed infrastructural improvements and redirect funding to classrooms to help our teachers and students excel,” said Griffin.House Bill 4080 will now move to the Senate for consideration.###### Tags: #SB
28Jun Gov. Snyder signs Rep. Victory’s drainage district bill Categories: News,Victory News A bill introduced by Rep. Roger Victory to give county drain commissioners more flexibility in their jobs was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder today.The bill amends the drain code to allow a local government petition for addition and reduction of land from an original drainage district. The action would provide county drain commissioners more leeway in revising district boundaries.Under current law, initiation and construction of single county and inter-county drainage districts requires petitions from a percentage of property owners whose land is impacted by a new or existing drain.“There are thousands of drainage districts throughout the state. Many of them are old and not updated as our community landscapes change. As a result, determining the correct number of property owner signatures and reviewing those deeds takes time and is problematic,” said Victory, of Hudsonville. “This is common-sense legislation that makes the job easier for our elected commissioners and ensures that community members will receive fair and accurate drain fees within a reasonable time frame.”When a local government petitions to add or remove land under Victory’s bill, a drainage board will notify all individuals whose name appear as owning lands in the drainage district. At a called meeting, the board will determine if the addition or removal is necessary with input from those landowners.For inter-county systems, the drainage board will be required to communicate with commissioners of counties included in the district as well as an official of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The House Appropriations Committee today approved a resolution introduced by state Rep. Aaron Miller enabling county sheriff’s deputies to continue patrolling roads in cities and villages that have lost municipal police officers because of economic challenges.Miller, of Sturgis, said his resolution ensures cities and villages will have sufficient law enforcement presence in light of economic challenges that forced the municipalities to cut their police forces.“The purpose of my resolution is very simple in that it enables county sheriffs’ patrols to receive funding to maintain a law enforcement presence in cities and villages that have cut their own police departments within the past three years,” Miller said. “Municipalities have had economic challenges maintaining a local law enforcement presence, and this problem is solved by enabling county patrols to help keep the peace. This is of particular importance to our neighbors in Branch County, where municipalities depend heavily on the sheriff’s patrols.”Miller introduced a similar resolution that was passed during the last legislative session to prevent cuts in secondary road patrol funding in Wayne, Branch, Iosco and Otsego counties.#####The measure is House Concurrent Resolution 13. 20Sep Rep. Miller’s resolution extends public safety coverage Categories: Miller News,News Sheriff’s departments can patrol city, village streets
Nassar case results in legislation to eliminate barriers for reporting sexual offensesA three-bill package has been introduced to better protect victims of criminal sexual conduct-based offenses in response to the recent Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University.State Reps. Klint Kesto, Kim LaSata and Brandt Iden are sponsors of the legislation.“After the disgusting circumstances of the Nassar case, there’s a clear need to make sure all Michigan students have a safe educational environment,” said state Rep. Klint Kesto, chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “We must remove any barriers that hinder the reporting this criminal behavior, to make sure the proper authorities are alerted and action to protect students, athletes, and patients is taken. Nassar victimized young girls for two decades and this legislation will prevent another monster from doing the same.”Kesto’s legislation prohibits anyone in a position of authority from preventing an individual from reporting a crime, including criminal sexual conduct.The legislative package also adds a mandatory reporting requirement for K-12 and post-secondary coaches and athletic trainers for criminal sexual conduct offenses. Sexual abuse, assault, or rape also would be added to the state of Michigan’s OK2Say program, which allows anyone to confidentially report tips or criminal activities directed at Michigan students, school employees, or taking place on school grounds.“The victims of Nassar stated over and over they felt bullied or prevented from having a voice,” said LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “This legislation stops that from happening again, while giving multiple options to report this illegal behavior.”The Nassar case showed a legal requirement for athletic officials must be added to Michigan law.“It is completely unacceptable that our coaches and trainers are not required to report allegations of abuse,” said Iden, of Oshtemo Township. “Our children look up to these individuals to guide and protect them, not to turn a blind eye when something is terribly wrong. Identifying athletic coaches and trainers as mandated reporters is a step in the right direction and I am proud to be a part of this change.”House Bill 5537, 5538 and 5539 have been assigned to the Law and Justice Committee.##### 08Feb House bills to improve crime reporting for victims Categories: Iden News,News
State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain today testified before the House Oversight Committee in support of his plans to repeal unnecessary laws from the books. House Bills 5741 and 5895 would both remove outdated sections of law in various areas.House Bill 5741 removes a reference to the Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Commission, which was established to designate and mark the overland boundary between both states in 1927. With both states’ boundaries established and mapped, there is no need for any section in Michigan law to reference the commission.During the 1950’s and 60’s, Michigan operated youth conservation and rehabilitation camps throughout the state that were designed to rehabilitate youth offenders by requiring them to participate in a boot camp experience, or conduct conservation projects. House Bill 5895 would remove references to appropriations for conservation rehabilitation camps which are now nonexistent in Michigan.“Getting rid of unnecessary laws is better than making laws with flaws,” LaFave said. “Every now and then it’s good to update our statues to clean up government.”House Bills 5741 and 5895 both remain in the House Oversight Committee for further consideration.Photo Information: State Rep. Beau LaFave (right), of Iron Mountain, today testified before the House Oversight Committee in support of his plans to repeal unnecessary laws. State Rep. Jeff Noble of Northville joined LaFave for his testimony. 03May Rep. LaFave highlights eliminating outdated laws, cleaning up government Categories: LaFave News
Share3Tweet9Share1Email13 SharesJanuary 19, 2018; HaaretzWhat is the proper role for nonprofit organizations in the political process? When we ask this question, we usually are trying to identify the boundaries within which nonprofit organizations can advocate and attempt to sway public opinion and government policy. We want to know the red lines the nonprofit cannot cross. Nonprofits may support or oppose government policy, but they normally view themselves as independent actors representing the views of private supporters. But what if they are not so independent?A recent investigation by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz changes the perspective, raising a new, disturbing question. When does government support for nonprofit organizations become too political and harm democracy? How appropriate is it for government to use a nonprofit organization to manage a politically charged strategy?The Israeli nonprofit Regavim has a clear mission. It tries “through legislative and judicial channels to recruit officials and state resources to act on the principles of Zionism—to protect national lands and properties and prevent foreign elements from taking over the countries territorial resources.” If they were funded solely by private donors who agreed with their mission and strategy, Regavim would not differ much from other nonprofits in the United States or in Israel. But in this case, much of their funding comes from public, not private, sources, which makes all the difference.Haaretz’s investigation found that Regavim has been a major recipient of public funding from a government that agrees with their work and which uses the organization as an ally in implementing a politically controversial policy of land acquisition. According to Haaretz, Regavim “got millions of shekels of public funds. In many cases the funds were funneled to Regavim under criteria that were tailored for it.”Taking land from Palestinians and giving it to Israeli settlers is politically difficult even for a government that is committed to that strategy. While a government body can’t go to court to sue itself, it is quietly funding a nonprofit organization that asks the court to compel them to move forward. The nonprofit partner provides a screen that makes it easier for the Israeli government to implement their desired strategy.Haaretz says that “from 2007 to the beginning of this decade, the amount of [public] funding Regavim received annually zoomed from 310,000 shekels (nearly $90,000) to more than 2 million shekels (almost $600,000), while private donations during the same period rose from 47,000 shekels to 800,000 shekels…Over the years, however, the data shows that the state and its authorities have been substantially supporting one of the main players conducting legal action against it.”The use of nonprofit organizations in this way can distort democracy and harm the nonprofit sector. Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, a nonprofit advocacy group that opposes the taking of Palestinian lands, told Haaretz that “transferring public funds to Regavim tilts the political playing field to the right. Public funds are not supposed to be used for political needs. The political debate must be conducted with equitable tools, not with one side getting public funds.”That Regavim, or any advocacy group, takes hard or even unpopular stances is not the concern, nor that they challenge their government. But, when they are financed by government as part of a coordinated strategy to manage the policies of a situation, the very nature of the nonprofit sector is threatened. Regavim operates outside the normal channels of government oversight and accountability. The way the nonprofit has been used shields and obscures the activities of the Israeli government, while at the same time distorting the arena of public debate. Government has put its thumb on the scale and tilted the balance needed in a working democracy. This appears to be a problem for Israeli society now, and is something to watch for in the increasingly contentious American political environment.—Martin LevineShare3Tweet9Share1Email13 Shares
UK pay TV operator BSkyB has named Martin Gilbert and Matthieu Pigasse as independent non-executive directors. The pair are expected to take up their positions on the board on November 29 following the retirement of David Evans and Allan Leighton.Gilbert is founder shareholder and CEO of fund management group Aberdeen Asset Management, while Pigasse is CEO of Lazard France and vice-chairman of Lazard Europe, as well as owner of publishing group Les Inrockuptibles and co-controlling shareholder of newspaper publisher Le Monde and the French edition of the Huffington Post.
Romanian cable and pay TV operator RCS & RDS has completed tests of 100GbE technology, the first such test in the country.RCS & RDS tested 100GbE with DWDM equipment for ECI Telecom and routers from Cisco and Juniper. RCS & RDS said this was the first test globally involving three separate vendors.The operator tested 100GbE IP/MPLS equipment over a 700km distance between Bucharest and Oradea. Upgrading networks from 10GbE to 100GbE increases capacity by a factor of 10, allowing service providers to serve a much larger number of customers with high-bandwidth services simultaneously.
The European Broadcasting Union has signed a contract to deploy technology provider Newtec’s satellite broadcast solutions as part of its pan-European news exchange network.Newtec’s new Multiservice Broadcast system solution will be developed in partnership with the Eurovision network engineering teams and implemented to upgrade part of the network.“We are pleased to partner with EBU. Our dedication to maximum bandwidth and operational network efficiency is fully aligned with EBU’s aim to deliver the best broadcast services, not only providing efficient transport of video, but really efficient end-to-end workflow support,” said Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec.
The BBC has taken an additional transponder on the Astra satellite position at 28.2° East for the duration of the Wimbledon tennis championship and the Glastonbury Festival this month and the Commonwealth Games in August.The additional capacity will be used to broadcast multiple high definition and standard definition video streams and will be available to satellite and cable viewers in the UK.The additional capacity will enable the BBC to deliver simultaneous live feeds of the summer’s events, viewing tennis matches of their choice, alternative sound stages at the Glastonbury Festival and various events at the different locations hosting the Commonwealth Games.“Feedback from viewers after the 2012 Olympic Games showed overwhelmingly that the provision of more choice of live events made the Games even more popular and enjoyable,” said Garazi Goia, acting director, BBC Distribution.“We are pleased to be able to expand our coverage again for the major sporting and music events taking place this summer.”
US broadcasters have come together in celebration after the Supreme Court ruled OTT streaming service Aereo illegal.The Supreme Court ruled by a majority of six to three that Aereo’s strategy of charging customers a monthly fee for retransmitted streams of US broadcast channels violated copyright and should stop. The judgement has been on the cards since April, when the broadcasters’ case was heard.This comes after Aereo had won a series of judgements over the broadcasters, and rolled its US$8 a month service out in numerous cities across the US.In effect, the Court decision defines Aereo as a cable provider, meaning its retransmissions are the same as a public performance under America’s Copyright Act. The result is the broadcasters can seek an injunction.Disney/ABC Television Group, CBS Corp., 21st Century Fox and Univision Communications were among those welcoming the decision, which appears to effectively end Aereo as a functioning business.“21st Century Fox welcomes the US Supreme Court’s ruling, a decision that ultimately is a win for consumers that affirms important copyright protections and ensures that real innovation in over-the-top video will continue to support what is already a vibrant and growing television landscape,” said Fox in a statement.“We’re gratified the Court upheld important copyright principles that help ensure that the high-quality creative content consumers expect and demand is protected and incentivised,” said Disney.Univision said the decision was “a major victory to all consumers and content creators”, while CBS similarly added it was “great news for content creators and their audiences”.Though the power is now firmly in broadcaster hands, some OTT services agreed with the ruling. “The Supreme Court case could not justifiably have gone in any other way, as Aereo was circumventing the existing TV industry model, remonetising content which was not theirs, or licensed to them, and, therefore, not putting value back into the system,” said Mattias Hjelmstedt, CEO and Founder of cloud TV service Magine.“This was an unsustainable model, which would ultimately result in content makers not being paid, and therefore, potentially reducing output to the point of extinction. It would have been dangerous to have continued.”Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia has issued his own statement, claiming the verdict was a “massive setback for the American consumer” that sent a “chilling message to the technology industry”.“Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those who can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle,” he added.Though the decision appears to make Aereo’s future as a business untenable – something its key backer, former networks boss Barry Diller, acknowledged in comments to CNBC yesterday – Kanojia said: “We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done. We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, said Aereo had characterised the networks’ lawsuit as “attack on innovation”, but that the verdict showed that claim was “demonstrably false”.“Broadcasters embrace innovation every day, as evidenced by our leadership in HDTV, social media, mobile apps, user-generated content, along with network TV backed ventures like Hulu,” he added.“Television broadcasters will always welcome partnerships with companies who respect copyright law. Today’s decision sends an unmistakable message that businesses built on the theft of copyrighted material will not be tolerated.”
Disney has made its Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) app available on Android devices for the first time. Disney Movies Anywhere first launched in February and is a digital movie service that lets US consumers buy, manage and watch Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies across multiple devices and platforms.Previously, the service was only available on iOS mobile devices via Apple’s iTunes App Store, with the new deal marking a rights share between tech giants Apple and Google.“More than 400 digital titles are available in DMA, and as part of today’s launch, for a limited time, DMA users who connect a new retailer account to their DMA account will get a free copy of Disney’s 2012 hit Wreck-It Ralph added to their DMA locker,” said Disney.DMA is designed as a “one-stop shop” for viewers to access their Disney digital movie collection, with users able to buy movies them via their connected retailer accounts and redeem digital movie codes that come with Disney Blu-ray or DVD purchases. The service also lets users access exclusive short-form content.Disney and Apple have long had close links, with Disney CEO Robert Iger holding a seat on Apple’s board. Disney’s 2006 buyout of Pixar in 2006 also made Apple co-founder Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.
Private equity outfit Carlyle could sell its controlling stake in Spanish regional cable operator Telecable, according to press reports.According to Reuters, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter, Carlyle has hired Goldman Sachs to advise on a possible sale of its 85% stake in the operator, which runs networks in the Asturias region in northern Spain.Carlyle acquired the bulk of its stake – 77% – from former Asturias bank Liberbank in 2011 for €294 million.Reuters’ sources said that the process was at an early stage.Following Vodafone’s acquisition of Ono, attention in the Spanish cable sector has been focused on the three regional operators – Telecable, Galician operator R and Basque Country operator Euskaltel – in the northern part of the country, which are expected to attract the attention of the major consolidators: Vodafone, Telefónica and Orange.Euskaltel, which has seen itself as a possible consolidator in the region, is currently focusing on its planned IPO, according to a source cited by Reuters.Spanish paper Expansión, without citing sources, said that Carlyle would be open to offers valuing Telecable at around €540 million, or nine times what Expansión claimed to be its 2014 EBITDA of €60 million. According to Expansión, BC Partners, Cinven, Providence Equity, Advent and R owner CVC have made a joint bid for the company.
Andrus AnsipThe EU has proposed new copyright rules that will allow European residents to travel with the digital content they have purchased or subscribed to at home.The proposed regulation would permit “cross-border portability of online content services”, in a move that would stamp out geo-blocking of online content across EU countries.“We want to ensure the portability of content across borders. People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe,” said Andrus Ansip, vice-president for the EU’s Digital Single MarketAnsip likened the changes to the planned phase-out of mobile roaming charges in Europe and is part of the EU’s plans to modernise European copyright rules.The new rules are expected to be introduced in 2017 and will apply to all 28 EU member states.“The Regulation proposed today is the first step of an ambitious reform. I count on the co-legislators to make sure that portability becomes reality for European consumers by 2017 so that they can enjoy their favourite content also when they travel in the EU – and without the fear of roaming charges, which will end by mid-2017,” said commissioner for the digital economy and society, Günther Oettinger.He said that the EU aimed to create a copyright rules that are fair, reward investment in creativity and make it “easier for Europeans to access and use content legally.”Under the new rules, the EU said that it will change the current situation whereby a Dutch subscriber to Netflix travelling to Germany isn’t able to watch films offered by Netflix to German consumers, or a French user of the online service MyTF1 is not able to rent a new film while on business trip to the UK.“More will be proposed in spring next year. Our aims are to allow a better circulation of content, offer more choice to Europeans, to strengthen cultural diversity and provide more opportunities for the creative sector,” said the EU.It also said that it intends to improve the cross-border distribution of TV online and aims to “facilitate the granting of licences for cross-border access to content”.However, critics have raised fears about what the knock-on effect could be on territory-based content distribution models.“The Commission’s proposals to mandate cross border access to digital content remain a significant concern for producers, distributors and broadcasters of film and TV content in the UK and across the EU,” said John McVay, CEO of UK producers’ body PACT.“Any intervention that undermines the ability to license on an exclusive territorial basis will lead to less investment in new productions and reduce the quality and range of content available to consumers.”
Matt StaggMobile telecom operators EE, Verizon, Telstra and KT have teamed up to create a global alliance to promote LTE Broadcast technology.Introducing the LTE Broadcast Alliance at TV Connect this morning, EE’s principal analyst Matt Stagg told TV Connect attendees that LTE Broadcast would help extend the media potential of LTE.Verizon’s director, product development, corporate technology, Parissa Pandkhou, said that her company had been working on LTE Broadcast since 2012. “our goal from this alliance is to develop new business models, educate the market about what the service can do and lead the technology,” she said.Mike Wright from Telstra said that consumption of video on mobile was increasing, particularly for sport. He said that LTE Broadcast was a key technology, adding that the alliance sent a message to others in the industry that there is a need to line up to “accelerate the ecosystem” and bring about significant penetration of LTE Broadcast-enabled devices by next year.In the US, Verizon has developed commercially deployed LTE-B service across its nationwide 4G LTE network.In the UK, EE trialled LTE-B at the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, in partnership with the BBC, allowing HD broadcast of multiple camera angles and replays to mobile devices in the stadium.In Australia, Telstra undertook the world’s first stadium broadcast using LTE-B in January 2014. Telstra demonstrated the technology again at the NRL Grand Final in October 2015, and has most recently showcased content pre-positioning with Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2016.In South Korea, KT became the first operator in the world to launch a commercial LTE-B service in January 2014. The KT service covers seven baseball stadiums and major subway lines of Seoul and Busan.