Twitter recently revealed that it has suspended 235,000 accounts over the last six months that have been promoting extremism and terror. This adds to the previous 125,000 accounts the company removed from the site between mid-2015 and February this year, which brings the total to a staggering 360,000 deleted accounts. It’s a struggle for Twitter to regulate its approximately 313 million monthly active users. Tracking down the never-ending stream of new accounts is no easy task for the San Francisco-based…

UN says Asian fixed broadband disparity “alarming”

Written on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 05:26
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has warned of a widening digital divide between high-income and low-income countries in Asia, saying that fixed broadband penetration is only about two percent in 20 Asian countries. Its findings are contained in a new report State of ICT in Asia and the Pacific 2016: Uncovering the Widening Broadband Divide. In it ESCAP says that, unless targeted policy interventions are put in place, the trend will continue…
Some of Australia’s leading banks recently made a request to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to see if they could “engage in collective negotiation and boycott activities with Apple in relation to its e-commerce Apple Pay platform and with other third party wallet providers in Australia”. The commission has denied an interim authorization for the banks to negotiate with Apple. “The ACCC has considered interim authorization within a short timeframe at the request of the applicants,” said ACCC…

Thai National Broadband plan set to go

Written on Monday, 22 August 2016 05:25
The Thai Government has finalized the terms of reference for its ambitious Bt15 billion ($433m) National Broadband project and expects to call for bids soon and to announce the winning bid by September 15, according to a report on the Bangkok Post. The report quotes Information and Communication Technology Minister, Uttama Savanayana, saying there will be no further delays to the initiative. The plan was announced in January 2016 when the Government said it would use some of the Bt81…
The European Commission (EC) will have to fight against national EU telecom regulators after announcing that it seeks to increase spectrum license terms to 25 years. The increased term of spectrum licenses in the EU from 10 years to 25 years could thrust the block into a head-to-head battle with EU Member States’ national regulators. The proposal will be part of a planned reform of the European Union’s telecommunications regulations, which is set to be published in September, and could…

France proposes a crackdown on encrypted messaging

Written on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 10:18
France has experienced more than its fair share of terror attacks in the past year. In response, France is said to be cracking down on all potential gateways for terrorists to communicate – which includes instant encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram – popularly used by terrorists to plan attacks. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Thursday, August 11, that the issue needs to be fought at an international level. He has called for Germany to help him…
Ever pushing above its weight on an international scale, New Zealand has connected over one million households, businesses, schools and hospitals to the government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) services. Communications Minister, Amy Adams released the latest quarterly report on the UFB and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) programs, saying: “This means 2.4 million New Zealanders are now able to connect to UFB, which is an outstanding achievement this far into the build.” The report notes that in the last quarter, about…
Following a corruption probe by U.S. regulators, Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, commonly referred to as MTS, Russia’s largest wireless mobile carrier, announced it will sell its majority 50.1 stake in Uzbekistan’s Universal Mobile Systems (UMS) to the Uzbek government. Some sources believe it’s a move by MTS to avoid fines related to the U.S. investigation. “Due to a variety of business reasons and other circumstances, MTS decided to sell its stake in the joint venture UMS LLC,” said MTS vice president…

Facebook is fighting accusations of avoiding $5b in taxes

Written on Monday, 01 August 2016 07:03
Conflict has amounted between Facebook and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over claims of tax evasion. Facebook reportedly received a “statutory notice of deficiency” from the IRS in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday, July 28. The notice Facebook received only applies to the 2010 tax year. However, the IRS could extend its scrutiny to other tax years and expand Facebook’s federal income tax bill by $3 billion to $5 billion, with additional interest and penalties. Facebook…
AT&T, Verizon, Dish Network, T-Mobile U.S. and Comcast are amongst 62 bidders that have made upfront payments to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a forthcoming wireless spectrum auction. The auction will begin on August 16. The FCC has said the price of 126 MHz of television airwaves taken from broadcasters to be sold for wireless use is $86.4 billion. The auction, dubbed the ‘broadcast incentive’ is one of the FCC’s most ambitious campaigns to date. But industry analysts…

US Government pledges $400m for 5G development

Written on Monday, 18 July 2016 07:49
The US Government has taken a significant step to securing the nation’s leadership in the rapidly developing 5G mobile industry, announcing of a $400 million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enable the deployment and use of four city-scale testing platforms for advanced wireless research over the next decade. The move follows a decision the FCC on 14 July that makes the US the first country in the world to set aside vast quantities…
The European Commission continues to shine a light upon Alphabet Google and its alleged monopoly abuse. EU regulators brought a third antitrust charge against the online search giant on Thursday, July 14, accusing Google of blocking rivals in the lucrative online search advertising market. The European Commission has once again highlighted the fact that Google, the world’s most popular internet search engine, favors its own shopping service in search results, resulting in an unfair market for its competitors to operate…
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