The Nicosia (horse) Race Club warned on Monday it risked bankruptcy if parliament agreed to raise a municipal levy on betting by half a percentage point, which is the demand of the hosting local authority, Ayios Dhometios.The matter was discussed before the House interior committee whose members heard that raising the levy to 1.5 per cent would fetch the municipality an additional €200,000 annually.A Race Club representative told MPs that for the industry to continue to operate, securing thus thousands of jobs, it was necessary not only to refrain from raising the municipal levy but also to scrap it.He said the club has been in an uphill struggle for the past eight years to avoid bankruptcy and save thousands of jobs.To go on operating, the club has already dipped into its reserves, MPs heard.In 2016 and 2017, the club lost some €9.2m on local betting while it collected some €8.7m from bets on foreign races – a net loss of €489,167.Horse racing betting representatives have also lost part of their commission as part of an austerity drive, which saw horse breeders and owners lose around €3.8m.“Other professional classes such as trainers and jockeys also experience the same tragic financial situation, as well as club staff who are demanding at least what had been cut,” he said.Since 1982, when the levy was introduced, the Ayios Dhometios municipality has collected some €18.7m. The proceeds in 2017 reached €326,129.Mayor Costas Petrou said the racetrack’s operation has been creating problems for years.“There is disturbance, stench, uncleanliness, new residents cannot be attracted around the racetrack and properties are degraded. Stimulus projects are needed to offset the problem,” Petrou said.Discussion will continue at a later date. You May LikeLifeInTheGoldenYears.com11 Most Difficult Dogs To RaiseLifeInTheGoldenYears.comUndo100JournalNewsTop 10 Largest Living Birds In The World100JournalNewsUndoMattress ReviewsHere Are The New Mattresses Everybody Is Talking AboutMattress ReviewsUndo New York state decriminalizes pot, stops short of Cuomo’s legalisation callUndoProtest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoKorkolis brings magic to the stageUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The health ministry is going to involve the private sector in a bid to remedy the situation expected to arise due to the decision of PASYNO nurses to go on indefinite strike from March 15, permanent undersecretary Christina Yannaki said on Wednesday.Speaking on state radio Yannaki said that the government will tap the private sector to make sure public health is not compromised in the slightest.“The health ministry has prepared a strategic plan to offer health services [during the strike],” she said.“There has been a mapping out the current situation, all procedures required to be adopted by all state hospitals have been drafted, and any incidents that cannot be addressed by the emergency rooms – due to the fewer available nursing staff – will be referred to the private sector.”Emergency incidents will be admitted at state hospitals, she noted, where security staff will be available, but other incidents, which were clearly laid out in a meeting, will be referred to private hospitals.“There will be coordination by the health ministry with teams at each hospital, which we will be in constant contact with, and it will all be supervised by myself,” Yiannaki explained.“The plan is already in place – I know the teams I have assigned at each hospital, and there will be two dedicated telephone lines connecting directly to my office.”Yiannaki added that the amount of money which is going to be spent on this has not been estimated yet, but “this, too, will be solved”.She stressed that by Tuesday morning, the health ministry will coordinate all efforts to avert risk to public health.On Monday, the overwhelming majority of PASYNO nurses’ union members voted in favour of going on indefinite strike to reinforce their demand for degree-holding nurses to be placed in higher pay scales.“I want to make clear that the state cannot function under threat, nor can it allow the patients to be taken hostage,” Yiannaki said.“Our primary concern is to help the patients.”You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
HOURLY labour costs in Cyprus dropped 7.6 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, the European statistical service Eurostat said yesterday.Hourly labour costs in the euro area (EA17) rose by 1.0 per cent in the year up to the third quarter of 2013, compared with +1.1 per cent for the second quarter of 2013. It was their slowest pace in three years in the three months to September, Eurostat said, in a sign the cost competitiveness of eurozone countries was improving.In the EU28, the annual rise was also 1.0 per cent up to the third quarter of 2013, compared with +1.1 per cent in the previous quarter.Labour costs in Cyprus’ construction industry dropped by 6.1 per cent, compared with a reduction of 0.2 per cent in the eurozone and 0.2 per cent in the EU.In the service sector, labour costs fell 5.5 per cent against a 1.0 per cent rise in the eurozone and 1.0 per cent in the EU.The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs.Wage costs in Cyprus dropped 7.7 per cent and non-wage fell 6.7 per cent.In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew by 1.3 per cent and the non-wage component by 0.4 per cent in the year up to the third quarter of 2013, compared with +1.4 per cent and +0.3 per cent respectively for the previous quarter.In the EU28, hourly wages & salaries rose by 1.2 per cent and the non-wage component by 0.3 per cent in the year up to the third quarter of 2013, compared with +1.3 per cent and +0.5 per cent respectively for the second quarter of 2013.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchBack Pain Treatments That Might Surprise You. Search For Back Pain TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Scores of residents of Deftera village on Wednesday prevented the construction of a petrol station just a few metres from the cave that houses a church dating to the 1st century AD and threatened more serious protests unless plans to build there were scrapped.Local residents and members of the Green party gathered at the construction site and blocked the road with a coffin after word got out that work on the petrol station, temporarily halted in March, would resume on Wednesday.The works stopped last March after strong protests by the committee of the church of Panayia Chrysospiliotissa and local residents who expressed concerns over the possible collapse of the cave from the tremors caused by the use of machinery. The church is classified as a type B monument.The church’s priest, Father Haralambos, told media that the business owner keeps breaking the law but there is no-one to stop him“They removed the metal fence without any permit and entered the plot with heavy machinery through a sidewalk, since there is no access to the plot,” he said.Father Haralambos said there is a law forbidding the construction of petrol stations less than 200 metres from a church. He said they had approved land conveyors make measurements and found that the construction site is 160 metres from the church.He said that there is a case pending at the Supreme Court but the transport minister did not ask for the construction works to be postponed until after the ruling.“Despite this, they have permission to carry on, how is this possible?” the Father asked.“There is no one to tell them anything,” he said.Protesters vowed to return on Thursday.“I don’t know how long the protest will be a peaceful one. Residents are furious, they say they will allow this only over their dead bodies,” he said.The matter was discussed at the House transport committee last March. Transport Minister Vasiliki Anastassiadou had said at the time the government was determined to protect the cave of Chrysospiliotissa church.She said that works had been halted pending a study by the geological survey department and that regardless of the decision concerning the construction of the petrol station, the area would either be declassified as residential to avoid development, or there would be an expropriation of land.The Tamassos Bishopric, under whose authority the church lies, questioned assessments by state officials that recent cracks that appeared within the cave and rock slides were due to the heavy rainfall.A representative of the bishopric told MPs at the time that since 2002 when conservation works at the cave were completed, no cracks had been noted until construction started on the petrol station.He also said that the parish church committee was willing to offer to the businessman another plot to build the petrol station on. You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Categories: News Legislation to encourage owners of the 11 million acres of private forestlands in Michigan to join the state’s Qualified Forest Program for timber harvesting and management was signed into law today. The nine-bill package, which includes a measure sponsored by Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, updates the program’s property tax incentives and offers educational and technical assistance. On hand for the ceremony were from left: Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director; Rep. Ed McBroom; Sen. John Moolenaar; Gov. Rick Snyder; Foster; Sen. Darwin Booher, Rep. Bruce Rendon; and Sen. Tom Casperson. The program is capped at 1.2 million acres but less than 80,000 acres have been enrolled in the program designed to ensure and increase a steady, sustainable supply of timber to an industry that generates $14 billion annually and directly employs 26,000 residents. The package includes Public Acts 42-50 of 2013. 06Jun Qualified Forest Program for timber harvesting and management was signed into law
Legislation ensures state can’t extend costly MEGA creditsMichigan taxpayers are protected from additional liability due to budget-busting Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax credits under common-sense legislation introduced today that prohibits the state from extending the costly credits, state Rep. Lee Chatfield announced.Since the MEGA credits were greatly expanded in 2008, the program has accumulated a projected taxpayer liability of $9.38 billion. The Republican-led Legislature and newly elected Gov. Rick Snyder ended MEGA in 2011, but even with the irresponsible program’s demise, state law still allows the existing credits to be increased and extended. Legislation introduced today by state Rep. Chatfield prevents this from happening.“No future governor of Michigan should be given the opportunity to extend these MEGA credits,” said Rep. Chatfield, R-Levering. “Although the current governor has no intention of extending these harmful credits, the reality is that a less fiscally responsible administration could come into office and put our state in greater financial jeopardy. We simply can’t allow that to happen – the stakes are too high. It’s up to us to ensure that the mess created during the previous administration is cleaned up not only for current Michigan taxpayers, but for our future generations.”The $9.38 billion estimated liability is projected to be incurred over the next 17 years. This year, the credits created a $325 million state budget shortfall.House Bill 4333, sponsored by Rep. Chatfield, prohibits MEGA tax credit extensions as currently allowed in the Michigan Economic Growth Authority Act. Categories: Chatfield News 11Mar Chatfield bill protects Michigan taxpayers by prohibiting tax credit extensions
23Sep Rep. Afendoulis selected to fill committee vacancy Categories: Afendoulis News State Rep. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township, this week was appointed by House Speaker Kevin Cotter to serve on the House Committee on Criminal Justice.The new assignment is in addition to Rep. Afendoulis’ current responsibilities on the House Committee on Appropriations.“Rep. Afendoulis has provided valuable leadership throughout the budget process and in his role as co-chair of the House Criminal Law Reform Workgroup,” Speaker Cotter said. “Adding Chris’ experience and knowledge to our criminal justice policy discussions will be a great benefit for the people of Michigan.”Rep. Afendoulis’ also serves on a number of House Appropriations subcommittees, including as vice chair of the Subcommittee on Corrections, chair of the Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and as a member of the subcommittees on General Government and Health and Human Services“I thank Speaker Cotter for entrusting me with this important committee assignment. I’m pleased with our accomplishments in the area of criminal law reform to date, and I’m eager to continue that work in my new role,” Rep. Afendoulis said. “I look forward to implementing reforms which balance the safety of Michigan citizens with the use of limited taxpayer resources.”Rep. Afendoulis can be contacted toll free at 1-855-347-8073; through his online office at www.RepAfendoulis.com; by e-mail, ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov; or by mail. At P.O. Box 30014, State Capitol, Lansing, MI 48909-7514.
Lucido: Financial means should not be a prerequisite for justiceThe House Oversight and Ethics Committee this week approved legislation that will bring further reforms to Michigan’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws.Late last year, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation reforming Michigan’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws. These reforms include additional reporting requirements for police officers and higher standards for prosecutors, improving communication and transparency at all levels of government.The reforms have received bipartisan praise and support, but many, including Rep. Peter Lucido, want to see the reforms go a bit further, specifically with regard to the provision requiring that property owners post a 10 percent bond within 20 days to fight for their property in court.Lucido, who sponsored a bill in the original package, authored House Bill 4629 which would remove this requirement.“In my many years as an attorney I have seen the process of civil asset forfeiture spiral out of control,” said Rep. Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “I have seen items seized that include everything from cars and homes to food, diapers and someone’s last hundred dollars in cash. Tell me how that single mother working three jobs is going to post a 10 percent bond when you just took everything she had—she’s not, because it will cost her more in legal fees than her items are worth.Lucido said the bond requirement disproportionately impacts lower-income individuals by not only putting them at a disadvantage financially, but discouraging many from seeking justice in a confusing system.“The law says we are innocent until proven guilty, but by taking someone’s property before they are even criminally charged, much less convicted, and then making them pay for a chance to fight for it in civil court we are hindering access to due process for all,” Lucido said. “By removing this requirement, everyone can have their day in court regardless of their ability to pay.”HB 4629 was voted out of committee unanimously and now moves to the full House for consideration.### 19Feb House bill cuts bond requirement to fight for seized property Categories: Lucido News,Lucido Photos,News,Photos
Categories: Alexander News 30Nov Rep. Alexander hosts local office hours in December State Rep. Julie Alexander announced her monthly in-district office hours, emphasizing the importance of understanding the concerns of the community.“During my first year in office I have scheduled 58 office hours and Milk Break meetings. The insight I received at these meetings has been my most important tool when representing the Jackson area in Lansing,” Rep. Alexander said. “I encourage anyone with questions or ideas about their state government to join me for coffee and conversation.”Rep. Alexander’s office hours will take place at the Jackson County Tower Building, 120 W. Michigan Ave. in Jackson during the following dates and times:Friday, Dec. 8 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.; andFriday, Dec. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m.Rep. Alexander will also sponsor a special Milk Break meeting at Candi’s BZB Café, 225 S. Mechanic St. in Jackson on Friday, Dec. 15 from 9 to 10 a.m.No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Alexander at 517-373-1795 or via email at JulieAlexander@house.mi.gov.
Categories: News,Wentworth News A new law sponsored by Rep. Jason Wentworth of Clare will eliminate a costly administrative burden for marine fuel users in Michigan.Wentworth’s legislation to simplify the process for exempting marine fuel users from Michigan’s motor fuel tax was signed today and becomes Public Act 55 of 2018.“This new law will help protect Michigan jobs connected to marine fuel distribution by reducing bureaucracy and saving time for everyone involved,” Wentworth said. “We want to ensure vessels fuel up here in our state, rather than in a neighboring state or in Canada.”Previous Michigan law called for users of marine fuel to pay the 26.3-cent per gallon motor fuel tax and then apply for reimbursement from the state Treasury. Wentworth’s new law replaces the refund with an upfront exemption, which lowers the initial costs and saves time and paperwork for businesses dealing with marine fuel such as Bunker C or Navy Special.The fuel isn’t used on roadways, so it is not subject to the motor fuel tax.### 06Mar Rep. Wentworth’s bill reducing bureaucracy for marine fuel users signed into law
House approves long-overdue no-fault solutionState Rep. Scott VanSingel and a bipartisan coalition of legislators approved a plan today that delivers significant car insurance rate relief for Michigan drivers.The House approved legislation that guarantees drivers will have choices on personal injury protection coverage, ends price gouging on medical services for car accident victims, and combats fraudulent claims. The plan will be sent to Gov. Whitmer for her expected signature.“This plan guarantees rate relief for my constituents and all Michiganders,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “Senate Bill 1 helps hard-working families who have been stuck paying the highest car insurance costs in the nation. We owe it to drivers to fix our broken car insurance system, and this legislation is a great solution.”This plan is designed to end Michigan’s long tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation. This is a bipartisan compromise between our original proposal on May 9, and the governor’s priorities.##### 24May Rep. VanSingel votes to make car insurance affordable for Michigan drivers Categories: VanSingel News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 20, 2014; Star-LedgerLongtime New Jersey activist John Atlas writes that Ted Nugent is a “decent guitar player, but a vile human being.” Nugent is scheduled to perform at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Nugent will be greeted by protests organized by such activist organizations as New Jersey Citizens Action, other grassroots groups, and labor unions.For those of us who remember the young Ted Nugent, he fronted for the Amboy Dukes in the 1970s, known to this author (who was a very young rock music reviewer for Fusion at the time) for a great song, “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” He spent a brief period in the ’90s as the guitarist for Damn Yankees, backing Styx’s Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades of Night Ranger. The much older contemporary Ted Nugent is a right-wing ideologue distinguished from many others by his propensity for offensive, vulgar characterizations of some prominent politicians.Atlas notes that Nugent has referred to President Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee,” characterized Hillary Clinton as a “worthless bitch,” and suggested that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) suck on his machine gun. (Nugent is a vocal opponent of gun control laws and a board member of the National Rifle Association.)The executive director of the Wellmont, Mark Josephson, acknowledged getting phone calls requesting that he cancel the Nugent performance, but said he wouldn’t do so, at least at the time of Atlas’s reporting. That isn’t always the case with Nugent’s performances. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe announced that has canceled Nugent’s performance at its casino in Worley, Idaho because it learned of his “racist and hate-filled remarks.Nugent is taking advantage of his national SHUTUP&JAM! tour to expound on his political views on a number of topics. Last week, he waxed charitable about “good, hardworking, playing Americans dedicated to being as productive and generous as possible in their lives.”“There simply is no more generous, giving, loving society on earth than hardworking Americans,” he wrote.Following those kindly thoughts, Nugent went full bore into his characteristic political rants:After denouncing “every state and city run by liberal Democrats…[as] a hellhole of waste, fraud, deceit, corruption, runaway unaccountable spending and in ruins,” Nugent asked, “Have you been to Detroit lately?” and commented “No wonder the movie ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is such a big hit.Commenting on income inequality, Nugent observed, “the squawking poor just keep on getting poorer, and as is always the case, they have no one to blame but themselves. Stupid is as stupid does.” He resurrected President Reagan’s old “welfare queen” argument with this observation: “With their cell phones, automobiles, microwave ovens, air-conditioning, new clothes, manicures and pedicures, bling-bling, clean water, more food than they can eat, pretty much redistributed everything handed to them, they still whine how America should be more like those other countries… Then, amazingly, we keep hearing all the time how Social Security is quickly running out of money, yet we never hear a mention that welfare or food stamp programs are running out of money. It is truly fascinating that Social Security was earned by its recipients, but those receiving welfare and food stamps didn’t earn jack squat.”Atlas thoughtfully questions the pros and cons of stopping the Nugent concert, as opposed to simply using the event for protests. He concludes that protesting Nugent’s appearance in Montclair is important:“I strongly support the upcoming protest against Nugent. He has a right to free expression under the First Amendment. But no matter what your political views, every citizen also has a right and in a democracy, a civic responsibility to protest bigotry and intolerance.”Well said, John.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJuly 22, 2014; The LensLast week, The Lens published the salaries of all of New Orleans’s city workers, focusing most intensely on the highest-paid personnel. While some may find this kind of transparency around salaries uncomfortable, it does provide a valuable point of accountability and it helps in the campaign to look at salary ratios as can be seen in the material below.Here are some of the more interesting findings:Mayor Mitch Landrieu is the 10th-highest paid employee in the city. He’s paid $150,765 a year. For comparison, the mayor of Baton Rouge earns $135,447, the mayor of Austin earns $81,344 and the mayor of Boston is paid $175,000.The lowest-paid full-time city employees earn $18,457 a year. The 26 people with that salary work as library pages, police technician trainees, and office assistant trainees. The highest-paid city employee, the airport director, earns as much as 13 of the lowest paid workers.Full-time city workers earn an average of $48,367 per year. The average income in New Orleans in 2012 was $44,379, by the way.NPQ has covered this issue previously in a story about charity regulation of pay ratios. Why not think about a system of voluntary disclosure as an example for opther sectors?—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
BBC World News, the UK public broadcaster’s international news channel, and Swedish broadcaster TV4 have signed a deal agreeing a deal that will allow the new TV4 News channel to broadcast some BBC World News programming each week.TV4 News is scheduled to launch on January 24. Under the deal, it will air BBC News programming including flagship current affairs programme HARDtalk.Colin Lawrence, commercial director, BBC World News said, “BBC World News has unique expertise in high quality, international journalism which will serve as a perfect compliment to the TV4 News offering. This agreement mirrors successful arrangements we have with an increasing number of broadcasters around the world and will offer viewers in Sweden the impartial global perspective they crave and the opportunity to engage with BBC World News content via a new platform.”BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries to over 300 million households.
Romtelecom has added Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) channel AXN Spin to its programming line-up. The channel, which targets adolescents and young adults with a mix of entertainment programming including Teen Wolf and 90210, will be available on Romtelecom’s basic packages, joining existing SPT channels AXN, AXN Crime and AXN Sci-Fi). AXN Spin has already launched in Poland and Romania will be its second central and eastern European territory.
Fatih OflazTurkish pay TV service provider Turkcell TV has begun offering a package of channels from Oflaz Media Group to its subscribers.Turkcell TV is offering a SinemaTV package comprising three of the group’s six channels – classic movie channel SinemaTV 1001, action movie channel SinemaTV Aksiyon, romantic drama and comedy channel SinemaTV Aşk – along with on-demand service Sinema Hemen (Now).Sinema Hemen is available over a range of mobile devices as well as online.“SinemaTV keeps extending its number of channels and digital platforms each passing day. We are very pleased to announce this agreement for a new partnership with Turkcell, a world-leading telecommunications giant. Turkcell TV carries great importance for us and we believe that our strong content will add lots of value to the service,” said Fatih Oflax, president of SinemaTV.SinemaTV provides six HD channels, four of which are also available in standard definition. In addition to the channels announced with Turkcell, the group provides flagship channel SinemaTV, a two-hour time-shifted variant, SinemaTV 2 and family channel SinemaTV Aile.“Combining our expertise in technology field with our well-established business skills, we aim to offer our subscribers extraordinary TV, film and entertainment services. Our highest priority is to provide rich and high quality content. We are very delighted to start our business relationship with SinemaTV, a pioneer and exemplary movie platform,” said Firat Akdere, director of media services at Turkcell.
Satellite operator Intelsat has said it is on track to meet its operating priorities and reduce debt, with better than expected progress on reducing operating costs. The company posted second quarter revenues of US$616 million (€459 million), down 6% on the 2013 figure, and adjusted EBITDA of US$490 million, down from US$509 million in 2013. The company’s EBITDA margin improved from 78% to 80%, while it turned a 2013 2Q net loss of US$408 million into a profit of US$67 million.On the downside, Intelsat said it faced a number of challenges limiting growth in the near term, including a lack of marketable inventory ahead of the launch of its next satellite in the fourth quarter, as well as reduced US government spending and intense network services competition in Africa.
Netflix accounted for up to 10% of all traffic on Belgian cable operator Telenet’s network over the weekend, following its launch in the country on Friday, according to the operator.According to the Liberty Global-owned Flemish cabler, Netflix accounted for between 7% and 10% of its overall traffic.Telenet indicated that this volume of traffic had been expected, fuelled by Netflix’s offer of a 30-day free trial.Neither Belgacom, the country’s other main broadband infrastructure provider, nor Netflix itself have given any indication of how much demand there was for the streaming video-on-demand provider’s content since it launched in the country on Friday.The news comes as Telenet kicks off work on its Grote Netwerf project. The company is investing €500 million in upgrading its network from 600MHz to 1GHz to provide additional bandwidth. Telenet plans to replace all 150,000 amplifiers and other components in its network over the next five years.
The African Telecommunication Union has come out publicly in opposition to the reallocation of the UHF band and C-band to mobile services.At its final preparatory meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, ahead of the forthcoming WRC-15 conference in Geneva in November, the ATU agreed a common position opposing the allocation of the 470-694MHz and 3600-4200MHz bands to mobile services.For both the UHF band (and the C band, the organisation agreed a common position in favour of ‘Method A’ – meaning no change in the use of the spectrum. Each of the ATU’s sub-regional groups – the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African communication Organizations (EACO) – also supported this position.The ATU’s position was welcomed by the EBU. EBU Director of Technology & Innovation, Simon Fell, said, “We are pleased to see another continent in ITU Region 1 confirm their support for DTT below 700MHz. It is important that we continue to voice our common position to secure adequate spectrum for the broadcasting industry.”The ATU agreed a common position to allocate the L-band – 1452-1492MHz – to mobile, a move that was welcomed by mobile operators’ association the GSMA.
The Speedport Smart routerDeutsche Telekom’s domestic German arm, Telekom Deutschland, has signed up as the first partner for the group’s white-label smart home offering. Telekom Deutschland will deploy Deutshce Telekom’s Magenta SmartHome offering with its Speedprot Smart router, enabling them to manage a range of connected devices through the router.The domestic unit’s routers can now support the DECT ULE cordless standard, enabling it to integrate smoke detectors, thermostats, and many other smart devices. Other protocols can be retrofitted via the USB port. A USB stick for the ZigBee protocol is already available and a stick for the Homematic IP protocol is scheduled for release in the autumn, according to Deutsche Telekom.New Speedport Smart routers will gain the additional features, and routers already installed by customers will receive a firmware update, meaning that about 170,000 households will be enabled for the service immediately. Telekom Deutschland estimates will ship about 1.2 million smart routers every year.Smart home installation software in the Speedport Smart routers will include a free version of the company’s SmartHome service, with many basic functions, to enable users to try the system out.“We have been a reliable partner to our customers for many years when it comes to telecommunications and entertainment. So it’s only natural to act as partners for security, convenience, and energy conservation, too,” says Niek Jan van Damme, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management responsible for Germany.“A single sensor on your door or window is all it takes to make your home safer. Together with the Speedport Smart, the free starter package and the Magenta SmartHome app, you can set up an alarm system for your doors and windows quickly and easily,” said Henri Vandré, head of smart home at Telekom Deutschland.“If a sensor-equipped door or window is opened in your absence, an alert is sent to your smartphone.”