A study looking at extending the Pedieos pedestrian path in Nicosia into the occupied area is set to begin at the end of November under the watch of the technical environment committee.As part of the Nicosia master plan technocrats from the committee, EU representatives and potential funders in cooperation with the UN will be visiting the area to begin the technical and financial study on developing the area.Chairman of the technical committee Michalis Loizides told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the project may even be implemented in 2018.The Nicosia master plan includes improving infrastructure and buildings and creating new leisure and entertainment spots. The first phase provides for extending the current pedestrian and cycling route in Pedieos so it can reach the occupied area, Loizides said.The path will have a small detour in the initial stages through the Ledra Palace checkpoint until a new one is created near the river bed, he added.“All of this will be included in the techno-economic study, which will note down all the points for which a political or technical decision needs to be taken so the project can go ahead.”The final study will need approval from both President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who are aware of the plans and are waiting for further information to see if the project can be implemented or there are any difficulties which need to be examined, Loizides added.According to reports from the north, Akinci had a meeting with members of the technical environment committee over the plans for earlier this week.The cost of the project will be covered by Turkish Cypriot funding and ‘EU partnerships that can give the budget for a complete project which serves such an important purpose’, Loizides told CNA.During the visit at the end of the month, technocrats will begin from the end of the current path at the Pedieos river bed, going through the buffer zone, a military area in the occupied territories, the Ledra Palace checkpoint to reach the final point of the project.“We will see the whole area that is untouched all these years,” he added.Asked if the committee had met after the talks collapsed in Crans Montana, Loizides said the committee had a meeting a month and a half ago in Karpasia and that another one was slated for next month in Akamas regarding ecosystem protection, as the two areas are subject to a lot of pressure from tourism-related developments.“There are already species of the ecosystem that are extinct due to tourism development and we must immediately take measures to protect them.”Other topics of discussion concern the Mia Milia water plant, Loizides said.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, honored two Muskegon County teenagers with special tributes and state seals at the Capitol today to thank them for their bravery and courage as they saved a local resident from a burning building and put out the fire at the Tiffany Woods apartment complex in Roosevelt Park.Alec Edwards and his step brother, Alex Bisard, a student at Mona Shores High School, saved a man from a burning apartment building on the evening of May 6. Both teens have received Citizen Lifesaving awards from Roosevelt Park Mayor Allan C. Lowe, and Norton Shores Fire Chief, Bob Gagnon.“These young men responded immediately and without hesitation to the emergency situation, pulling a man from a window and saving his life while also putting out the fire,” said Rep. Hughes. “The tremendous valor and quick decision-making that these young men displayed is truly admirable, and I am so proud of these two hometown heroes and thankful to them for their courageous efforts.”Alec and Alex were recognized by Rep. Hughes on the House floor and received official state of Michigan tributes and state seals acknowledging their heroism.### Senator Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, accompanied Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, on the House floor to present official state of Michigan tributes to teen heroes.Alex Bisard (left), Rep. Holly Hughes, Alec Edwards (right). Categories: Featured news,Hughes News,News 17Jun Rep. Hughes honors two Muskegon County teens for heroic efforts Tags: #SB
Legislation introduced today by state Rep. Roger Hauck is part of a legislative package to reform and eliminate ineffective driver responsibility fees.Hauck, of Union Township, is the author of one of the bills in the seven-bill package that will end all driver responsibility fees by October 2018. The fees are assessed on people who commit a variety of driving offenses.Hauck’s bill provides immediate amnesty from paying the fees for people who are on a payment plan and have made a good-faith effort to pay off their obligations. Other bills in the package move phase-out of the fees from 2019 to Oct. 1, 2018, and restore a community service option for people who owe fees until the 2018 elimination of the fees.“This was a bad bill in 2003, when it was enacted as a quick fix for budget issues, and it is a bad law today that contributes to the misery of middle-income families trying to make ends meet,” Hauck said. “People should not be under the burden of these fees that do nothing to make people better drivers, but do have a negative effect on their quality of life.”Hauck said current law forces tough decisions for people burdened with the fees. He said that according to media reports, 1,129 people in the Mount Pleasant ZIP code are paying driver responsibility fees, with the average amount owed being $2,036.“Forcing drivers to pay the fees perpetuates a cycle in which people lose their licenses but still have to take care of their families, so they drive illegally to make a living, or they lose their jobs and are forced to rely on state assistance,” Hauck said. “When the fees are eliminated and their driving privileges are restored, these people can go back to work and support their families.”The bills were referred to the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee.##### Categories: Hauck News,News Measure gives amnesty to those on payment plan 28Sep Rep. Hauck’s bill forgives driver responsibility fees
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 28, 2015; HyperallergicAs an important step in preserving Peru’s rich cultural history, Culture Minister Diana Álvarez-Calderón announced the construction of Peru’s first large-scale national museum. The Museo Nacional del Perù will be built just southeast of Lima on the Pachacamac archaeological site, which features temples and pyramids predating the Inca Empire. While serving as an entry to the Pachacamac ruins, the national museum will contain an exhibition space of 49,000 square feet, a library, classrooms and laboratories. With an anticipated completion date between April and May 2016, the Museo Nacional del Perù will be home to 500,000 artifacts. Many of the pre-Colombian artifacts will come from two smaller institutions, both of which will turn to other areas of specialization. The Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Free People in Pueblo Libre will specialize in colonial and republican history, and the Museum of the Nation in San Borja will focus on updating its space for the display of contemporary art. But while the national museum is an important step for the Ministry of Culture and the heritage of Peru, there is still cause for concern. Earlier in the month, Álvarez-Calderón announced that “it is impossible for the Ministry of Culture, with the resources it has, to keep guard of thousands of archaeological sites or 5,500 kilometers of the Nazca Lines.” The illegal intrusions on the Nazca Lines within the past several years have caused irreparable damage to the historical landmark, and other archaeological sites in Peru face similar damage from illegal mining, tomb raiders, and others. Which such activities present at such high rates, Álvarez-Calderón and the Ministry of Culture have expressed their desire to collaborate with the private sector to better secure the historical sites and thus, the country’s heritage. Such collaboration could prove invaluable, as the damage of the archaeological sites cannot be undone. While the establishment of the Museo Nacional del Perù to educate and preserve is long overdue in such a culturally rich country, the importance of preserving irreplaceable archaeological sites should not be overlooked.—Michele BittnerShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share6Tweet29Share5Email40 SharesBy Careilly5801 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsAugust 8, 2017; Washington PostImmediately after the Senate failed in its final attempt to either repeal or replace the ACA, President Trump tweeted, “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode.” Based on his administration’s lack of action, he seems willing to do everything he can to make his words come true.The annual enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the time when those wishing to get insurance for 2018 must choose their plan, is set to begin on November 1st. For more than 10 million people, that short six-week period is all the time they have to assess the changes in the coverage that will be available for 2018, including new premiums, and decide whether they want to reenroll for their current coverage or select a new plan or provider. This process isn’t easy, and the penalties for not completing it within the timeframe is high—insurance coverage may be lost or the wrong level of coverage may be selected.Under the Obama administration, the federal government assertively worked to offer encouragement and support, especially through the use of nonprofit ACA “navigators.” According to the Washington Post,In each of the past four sign-up seasons, the Obama administration was a clear cheerleader for the marketplaces, engaging in widespread marketing efforts, supporting nonprofit “navigators” who helped with community-based enrollment and loudly proclaiming the availability of insurance plans—and federal subsidies—to just about anyone without employer-sponsored coverage, Medicare or Medicaid.One way to ensure that the ACA will “implode” is to impede or withhold this effort, and that seems to be the administration’s game plan. When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which are responsible for managing the sign-up process, were asked by the Washington Post what the plan was for the new enrollment cycle, they would only state, “As open enrollment approaches, we are evaluating how to best serve the American people who access coverage on HealthCare.gov.” Even that statement was quickly retracted.In June, the organizations, many of them nonprofits, with federal government contracts to help individuals navigate the healthcare system, attended a meeting in Baltimore with HHS officials to learn about the upcoming enrollment process. They left knowing only that this was going to be a difficult year for their organizations and those trying to navigate the system.Daniel Bouton, Health Insurance Marketplace Program Manager for the Community Council of Greater Dallas in North Texas, told the Post, “Every time the question was brought up, the only answer we received is they were working on it, and they hadn’t made a final decision about whether they were going to have a marketing campaign this year.” Jessie Menkens from the Alaska Primary Care Association asked, “Is there a commitment at this time to proceed with this outreach?” Menken reported their response was, “They very kindly said, ‘We’re not able to provide a commitment to that.’”State officials who are responsible for coordinating with the federal government have been no more successful in receiving guidance.Heather Korbulic, executive director of Nevada’s marketplace…has tried to find out whether HHS intends to contact Nevadans with ACA health plans to remind them to enroll—a particularly pressing issue because the state exchange operates under a hybrid system and pays about $5 million to rely on HealthCare.gov. She also has tried to get federal officials to provide a list of currently enrolled residents so the state can notify them directly.“I ask this question every week,” Korbulic said. “It’s verbal, written, and to different levels of management…We are desperately seeking answers.’”Limiting implementation support will make it difficult for the program to reach the same number of people it had in prior years. But that’s not the only way the administration’s lack of action is hurting those most vulnerable. Following passage of the ACA, the House of Representatives went to court challenging the payments made to these navigator programs, alleging they were not specifically permitted under the new law. While the legal process went forward, the Obama administration continued with this element of the ACA, and insurance companies saw it as an important element of the overall program. The President tweeted his recognition of the importance of these subsidies…and threatened to withhold them: “ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going—otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.”The impact of this uncertainty has been seen in increased rates and the withdrawal of insurance companies from the marketplace. According to S&P Global, just this week saw Anthem Insurance take both paths, as it announced significant changes to its operations in two more states, Nevada and Georgia. Earlier this year, it had exited California, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Business Insider reported, “Nevada Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson said in a statement that Anthem requested a 62 percent average rate increase, without factoring in the cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, that many insurers have relied upon.” Fourteen counties in Nevada would end up with no insurance available under the ACA.The weight of Trump’s strategy of allowing ACA to falter through inaction will first fall on the households who will again find themselves uninsured and facing pain of unaffordable medical bills. The hospitals, doctors, and nonprofit organizations that serve them will scramble to protect them. And, the president who promised that we’d have “great health care…in a much-simplified form. Much less expensive and much better” is going to leave millions in the lurch, paying more for what little coverage they can get.—Martin LevineShare6Tweet29Share5Email40 Shares
Share2TweetShareEmail2 Shares“The Crew Ain’t Here No More,” Raymond Clarke ImagesMarch 13, 2019; The Vindicator (Youngstown, OH)Located on 965 acres of land, adjacent to the Ohio turnpike, roughly halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the General Motors (GM) Lordstown factory produced cars for 53 years—but no more. During that time, workers assembled an estimated 16.5 million cars and vans. The last car, a Chevrolet Cruze, rolled off the line a week ago Wednesday.When the Lordstown facility opened, it employed 6,000 workers; at its peak, in the mid-1970s, 12,000 worked at the facility. This year, there were only 1,400 remaining production workers and 1,600 workers total to lay off. Of these workers, 400 are transferring to other cities, 350 are retiring, while the rest are looking for other work. Wages for line workers at the plant ranged from $61,000 to $88,000, compared to an average wage in the Youngstown area of $38,000.While only 1,600 are being laid off now, that number is deceptively low, as layoffs occurred in three stages. Between January 2017 and the plant’s final closure this month, over 4,300 lost their jobs. As Stan Boney of local television station WKBN reports, a study authored by professors Iryna Lendel and Merissa Piazza, and graduate research assistant Matthew Ellerbock of Cleveland State University, puts the “cumulative job loss at 7,711 or 4.4 percent of all the jobs in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.” The reason the number is 7,711, Boney explains, is that, according to the study, “For every four jobs lost at GM, two were lost in supply chain companies and one was lost in the consumer services sector.” The study estimates the overall cost of the plant’s closing to the local economy at $1.6 billion or 9.4 percent of the gross regional product and will cost local government $12 million in revenue.Writing in the Vindicator, David Skolnick notes that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has said that he’s been given no indication from GM what the future of the facility will be. DeWine said that, “My focus is to do everything to get jobs back in that plant, understanding that our hands are really tied until there is some movement from General Motors.” DeWine is hoping to know more from GM “in four to six weeks.”Often when layoffs at manufacturing plants occur, the story told centers on supposedly inevitable “market forces,” but as Michael Shields of the nonprofit advocacy group Policy Matters Ohio explains, better policy could have led to better outcomes. A four-page policy brief from the group notes that,Better Federal policies might have prevented Lordstown’s closure. A substantial gas tax would reduce carbon waste and could be used to smooth fuel prices to make them more predictable. Today, automakers face a high stakes gamble in predicting future fuel prices. Last week the Chevy Cruze fell victim to dwindling consumer demand from low fuel prices: a decade ago GM shut down the Moraine truck and SUV plant, again citing low consumer demand, that time due to high fuel prices.Other measures mentioned by Shields include:Extend the Art Modell Law to other businesses. “Ohio’s Art Modell law,” notes Shields “requires professional sports teams to give at least six months’ notice of intent to leave, and give locals the opportunity to buy the franchise.” It so happens that the Ohio Employee Ownership Center—founded in 1987 by the late John Logue, a former Kent State professor who saw employee ownership as an alternative to plant shutdowns—has in the past three decades helped preserve over 20,000 jobs statewide by converting business to employee ownership.Strengthen state WARN Act protections and enforcement. Ohio, Shields explains, follows the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires employers of 50 or more workers to give 60 days’ notice before layoffs. “Some states,” note Shields, “include smaller firms and layoffs and provide severance pay.”Get smart about tax incentives. Ohio allocated $82 million to GM in 2006 on the promise the plant would stay open at least 30 years. Obviously, GM has reneged on that commitment.Such policies (and others), Shields contends, can make a difference by reducing the number of layoffs and mitigating their impact when they occur. The policy brief concludes, “Responsible public policy must support the displaced workers, and take steps to reduce the incidence of events like this happening again.”—Steve DubbShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
Al Jazeera is to charge a subscription price of €11 a month for its Sport 1 and Sport 2 channels in France, at the low end of the expected range of between €10-15, according to local reports.Al Jazeera holds a significant part of the rights to Ligue 1 football in France, including pay-per-view rights previously held by Canal Plus’s Foot Plus service.Analysts have estimated that Al Jazeera would need to win three million subscribers to achieve profitability. The broadcaster is in discussion with distributors like SFR, Orange and Free to carry the channels and pay-per-view matches. While deals with ISPs are likely, it remains uncertain whether Al Jazeera will strike a deal with its chief competitor, Canal Plus, whose CEO Bertrand Meheut recently criticised the Qatari broadcaster’s “irrational” economic model.
YouView, the soon-to-launch connected TV platform for the UK, will be tested by the public for the first time this week, and could launch within four weeks.The joint venture project to deliver Freeview TV and online services to dedicated set-top boxes has faced a series of delays. However, test candidates from around 350 homes have been selected to trial the service with a view to launching the platform as soon as possible. A spokesperson told the Financial Times that YouView boxes could be on sale in as little as four weeks from now, in time for the Olympics.Employees of YouView shareholders, which include the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva, have been testing the service, but this will be the first time members of the public have been granted access to it.Last week, Dido Harding, the chief executive of TalkTalk confirmed that the company would begin offering YouView as part of a triple-play package by September.
French commercial broadcaster M6 is planning to make a claim for €100 million from the French state in compensation for the loss of the so-called bonus digital-terrestrial channel promised to it at the time of the country’s digital switchover, according to a report in financial daily Les Echos.According to the paper, M6 will send a letter to the new French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in the next few days to claim compensation and the re-imbursement of additional costs incurred since the decision was taken to cancel the bonus channels.M6, along with TF1 and Canal Plus, were in 2007 promised a bonus channel to compensate for the costs of digital switchover. However, the plan to allocate the channels was cancelled by the previous government last year after opposition from the EC. Despite the subsequent allocation of one of six new DTT frequencies to M6 by media regulator the CSA for the launch of the 6ter channel later this year, M6 reportedly believes it is still entitled to the original bonus channel because the matter was never discussed properly by the French parliament.
Industry consortium DVB has approved a new specification for handheld devices, DVB-NGH (Next Generation Handheld).Based on DVB-T2, DVB said NGH is designed to aid mobile and portable reception. Additional techniques included in the standard include MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output), Time Frequency Slicing (TFS) with a single tuner, non-uniform constellations, improved and extended LDPC codes for lower code rates, more efficient time interleaving and ultra-robust layer-1 signalling.It also covers a hybrid profile where terrestrial and satellite transmission schemes can be combined.The specification will be submitted to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for formal standardisation and an NGH BlueBook is to be published.“NGH covers the latest modulation as well as coding technologies and can be regarded as the most sophisticated terrestrial broadcast air interface. Furthermore it also offers additional operational flexibility, such as different protection for audio and video streams in one service,” said Peter Siebert, DVB’s executive director.
UK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD has named Paul Whiteing, CEO of PhonepayPlus, to its board as an independent member and director.Whiteing, who will take up his post in January, will replace Sara Nathan, who is standing down after three years.“We are delighted that Paul has agreed to join the Board. He offers a wealth of experience in regulation and consumer protection and will help to ensure that ATVOD understands the perspectives of the consumer as we work to ensure that users of on demand services enjoy the regulatory protection provided for in law,” said ATVOD chair Ruth Evans. “We would also like to express our thanks to the outgoing director – Sara Nathan – for her outstanding contribution to the development of ATVOD, especially in its crucial first years as the co-regulator for UK video-on-demand services.”
German cable operator KDG has passed the landmark of one million HD subscribers.The operator said it had added 600,000 new HD customers this year.KDG offers a total of 45 HD channels in various packages. It faces competition from HD Plus, the DTH service from SES that counted 761,456 paying subscribers at the end of September.
Germany-based technology provider TechnoTrend Görler has changed its name to Kathrein TechnoTrend following its strategic reorientation as part of the Kathrein group, which began at the end of last year, and has named a new chief sales officer.Kathrein TechnoTrend will position itself as specialist in partnerships with network operators and platform providers, providing receivers for cable, satellite and IPTV operators.The company has also named Volker Belz as chief sales officer, completing the line-up of its management board. Belz was previously senior director of strategy, media politics and new business at the third largest German cable network operator, Tele Columbus.Kathrein TechnoTrend will focus on providing hybrid system solutions for the operator market. This includes the development of its own high-performance receiver hardware and middleware solutions as well as the technical integration of suitable middleware from strong partners. In addition to central, eastern and southern Europe, its target markets are the Middle East, Latin America as well as new markets in North and South Africa.“The new name of the TechnoTrend company under the umbrella brand of Kathrein highlights the growing significance of the operator business for the entire group,” said Frank Ullmann, managing director, Kathrein TechnoTrend. “The operator CPE market will now see enormously dynamic growth in the direction of hybrid and convergent devices. Kathrein TechnoTrend and its partners are well positioned to make an important contribution to this development and profit from the coming growth. The appointment of a new CSO who knows the strategic needs of the market and comes to us with an extensive network of international contacts is a further important step for the reorientation of our receiver business on the international operator market.”Kathrein TechnoTrend will be exhibiting at ANGA COM on Stand B.19, Hall 10.2.
Virgin Media Business has completed the build out of a superfast fibre network for communications and media services company, Arqiva.The dedicated Arqnet2 ‘data superhighway’ network connects up to 40 sites across the UK, transmitting data bundles of up to 16 terabytes.Arqiva said the new capacity will help it meet customer demand from broadcasters like the BBC, ITV and BskyB. It could also help Arqiva launch new services for its customers, like +1 and HD channels, without having to worry about its network buckling under pressure.
Communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva has signed a new three-year contract with IMG Media to distribute Barclays Premier League globally in HD.Arqiva will provide the encoding, encryption and satellite capacity and says it has implemented new distribution technology that will allow it to transmit at a higher bit-rate, without the need to increase satellite bandwidth –the equivalent to a 15% improvement in efficiency.Arqiva has already provided distribution services for live Barclays Premier League matches and supplementary programming for IMG Media for the past six seasons. Under the new deal, Arqiva will be the sole distributor of approximately 190 live fixtures globally per season.“Working with IMG and the Premier League since 2007, we have provided valuable and trustworthy continuity, while persistently delivering new levels of technical innovation. Arqiva is proud to work with IMG to support the global distribution of the Barclays Premier League,” said Barrie Woolston, managing director of satellite at Arqiva.
ANGA COM is set to return to Cologne this year with 450 exhibitors and what it claims will be its “most multifaceted congress programme ever.”Now in its 15th year, its second under its new moniker following the 2013 rebrand from ANGA Cable, the international expo will play host to companies from 34 countries and will seek to discuss all facets of broadband and video distribution.Over the course of three days ANGA COM will feature speakers from major players operating in the space, including Deutsche Telekom, Liberty Global, Astra, ProSiebenSat.1, Tele Columbus, RTL, Sky Deutschland, Unitymedia, KabelBW and Kabel Deutschland, the latter of which Vodafone acquired for €7.7 billion last year.The first day’s opening panel discussion is entitled ‘Broadband, Television, Online – Business Models for the Connected Media World’ and includes participation from: Liberty Global president and CEO, Mike Fries; Kabel Deutschland CEO and Vodafone Deutschland managing director (MD), Manuel Cubero; Astra Deutschland MD, Wolfgang Elsäßer; Telekom Deutschland’s MD of marketing, Michael Hagspihl; and Tele Columbus Group CEO Ronny Verhelst; ProSiebenSat.1 executive board member Conrad Albert; and ZDF’s corporate counsel, Peter Weber.This will be followed by the NRW Media Summit, marking the first year that ANGA COM will work with the media congress Medienforum NRW – a media convention that has been running for 25 years and is supported by the government of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).Held in cooperation with the ANGA COM congress programme, this portion of the even will include debate about future media regulation, publishing houses’ video and digital strategies, the role of VoD usage in the German media market and current developments in television and online entertainment.The NRW Media Summit kicks off with keynotes by Tom Buhrow, director general of public broadcasting body WDR, and Thomas Lindner, chairman of the board of directors of German newspaper FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). It will also feature discussion from Unitymedia KabelBW CEO Lutz Schüler and Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan about future market structure strategies.Across the ANGA COM there will a total of 20 congress panels. Strategy panels will focus on topics such as personalised TV, multi-access strategies, new broadband business models, platform regulation, copyright, pay TV and competition with new online OTT services. The nine technology panels will cover topics such as fibre optic expansion, multiscreen, IPTV, DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, RDK, recommendation engines, and WiFi.ANGA COM, managing director Dr. Peter Charissé says that a feature of this year’s show will be a greater focus on ANGA’s foreign delegates: “For the first time, all technology panels will be held in English so that the congress programme becomes even more attractive for international visitors.”Day three of ANGA COM will feature seven panel events in total, including four expert panels as part of the ‘Connected Home Special’. Now in its second year, this is organised in cooperation with BITKOM, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media, and will include a high-level summit on the topic of the connected home, plus panels on media home gateways, apps for TV usage, home security, and smart metering.“In recent months, the in-home distribution of TV and Internet has proven to be a driving force for home networking. This is not about mere scenarios, but about actual products. Therefore, in unison with the exhibition, there will be an even stronger focus on the ‘connected media home’ in 2014,” said Charissé.Due to appear as part of the Connected Home Summit will be: the president of ANGA (Association of German Cable Operators), Thomas Braun; the CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland Wilhelm Dresselhaus; chairman of the management board for Microsoft Deutschland, Dr. Christian Illek; Arris’ president of network & cloud and global services, Bruce McClelland; Cisco’s vice president and general manager of service provider video for EMEAR, Yves Padrines; and Telekom Deutschland’s MD of sales Dr. Dirk Wössner.ANGA COM, which carries the tagline ‘where broadband meets content,’ will play host to a new speaker’s corner this year alongside its regular congress panels, offering an additional presentation platform where exhibitors can present new products, projects and solutions.Located on the exhibition boulevard in hall 10.1, this 150-seater space will be accessible by all exhibition visitors and congress attendees without the need for additional registration.Last year ANGA COM attracted 17,000 visitors, up 6% on the previous show, with half of these from outside Germany, and it aims to build on this in 2014.“With 450 exhibitors we tie in smoothly with the success of our record year, 2013. With our numerous co-operations we have managed to further add value to the congress programme. With the combination of exhibition and congress we make the connected media world tangible, dealing with the broadband and media topics practical and to the point,” says Charissé.ANGA COM is organised by a subsidiary of the Association of German Cable Operators and for many years has been supported by ZVEI (Satellite & Cable) – a business lobby group and forum for manufacturers of broadcasting transmission and broadband communication systems. Other partners for this year’s show include ABTA Expo & Conference Sao Paulo, Cable Europe, NCTA Cable Show and Medienforum NRW. Sponsors of the event are Alcatel-Lucent, Astra, AVM, Nagra, QVC and Unitymedia KabelBW. ANGA COM will be held at the Koelnmesse conference centre in Cologne, Germany, and runs from May 20 – 22.
Tesco-owned movie and TV rental service Blinkbox has launched a dedicated app for the Xbox One games console and is working on an app for Google’s Chromecast streaming stick.The web service, which lets users watch or buy content on a pay-per-title basis, already has apps available for the Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, Apple and Android tablets, Windows 8 devices, smart TVs, set top boxes and PCs and Macs.Blinkbox managing director Adrian Letts said that games consoles have already overtaken computers in terms of popularity for accessing Blinkbox, and that with its in-the-works Chromecast app, the service will be “even more accessible to those who want to enjoy the latest movies and TV without being tied into a subscription.”“Our developers are working harder than Hugh Jackman’s personal trainer to give customers access to the very latest movies and TV shows on their favourite platforms and devices,” said Letts.The Blinkbox app for Xbox One lets users browse, search and buy from a large catalogue of movies and TV shows as well as filter by best sellers, new releases, top selling titles and genres.
The global market for conditional access (CA) technology used in set-top boxes is set to peak in 2015 then decline as pay TV services reach saturation, according to IHS Technology. The research firm predicts that the CA market will expand in 2014 and 2015, driven by Chinese and Indian cable TV digitisation and “further pay TV growth in emerging markets.”By 2015, IHS predicts that the CA market will climb to US$2.2 billion (€1.6 billion) – up from US$2.1 billion in 2013 – with set-top CA client shipments to reach 279 million units in 2015.However, worldwide revenue for pay TV CA technology is then tipped to decline to US$1.9 billion in 2018, with a high level of pay TV penetration limiting further growth opportunities for conditional access systems.“The CA market is largely dependent on pay TV growth. Shipments of STB CA clients have grown strongly during the past 10 years from 44 million units in 2003 to 246 million in 2013, driven by a decade of rampant pay TV growth. However, this dependence will make further growth for CA challenging as the pay-TV market begins to slow,” said Wajahat Abbassi, senior analyst for connected home at IHS.The research firm predicts that 53% of TV-owning households worldwide will subscribe to pay TV services by the end of 2015In terms of the CA market, Cisco Systems lead with a 32% market share of total revenue in 2013. Kudelski Group’s Nagravision was the second largest with 27% share.Nagravision’s 2014 acquisition of Telenor’s conditional access subsidiary, Conax, will see the top two players control nearly 65% of the market, at 2013 values, according to IHS.
Sky has reportedly been in talks with Telefonica about partnering with its UK mobile arm O2, in a move that could see the UK operator move into the quad-play space.According to a Financial Times report, Sky and Telefonica have been in talks since late 2014. The report says that while Sky is unlikely to buy O2, it would instead partner to combine O2’s mobile service with Sky’s pay TV, broadband and fixed-line phone offerings.Separately, Bloomberg reported that Sky is in talks with Telefonica to buy access to O2’s wireless network, with a similar deal having also been discussed with Vodafone.The news follows recent reports that Hutchinson Whampoa, owner of UK mobile network Three, has been in merger talks with O2.Last month BT said that it in exclusive talks to acquire the UK’s leading mobile operator EE in a £12.5 billion (€15.8 billion). BT had been widely expected to make a bid for either Telefónica’s O2 or EE and re-enter the UK mobile market, building on its launch of fibre services and aggressive entry into the UK pay TV market.
The BBC has announced plans to sell and sublet its Media Village site in west London as part of its plans to “dramatically reduce the size and cost of BBC buildings.”The BBC said that it will receive £87 million for the sale of four acres of freehold land and the lease of six buildings – three of which will continue to be occupied by the BBC. This will result in £33 million of annual running cost savings.The three buildings being vacated by the BBC – White City One, Media Centre and Garden House – will be fully refurbished and brought back to the market from late 2016.“This will mean the corporation’s property footprint is now reduced by around 40 per cent since 1998 – a significant achievement within the public sector,” said the BBC.