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Telecommunications infrastructure

2019

The country of Bhutan has launched its first Internet exchange point called the Bhutan Internet exchange (BtIX). According to a publicationin the Kuensel online news platform, the BtIX infrastructure will serve as the single hub to keep all local traffic by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks thereby separating them from expensive and distant third party networks.

According to officials of BtIX, the infrastructure will improve the overall Internet quality experience in Bhutan by reducing delays. It will also reduce the average public delivery cost of Internet service since networks will interconnect directly with each other through the exchange instead of through long-distant third party networks around the world

Bluetown, a Denmark based organization on 9 January 2019 announced a partnershipwith Microsoft through the Airband Initiativethat will bring internet access to approximately 800,000 people in an underserved communities in the Eastern region of Ghana. TV White Space and Wi-Fi technologies will be used to implement public Wi-Fi zones that affords Internet access at a lower cost. The project will also provide dedicated Internet access to local institutions and businesses and free access to digital services (e-learning, e-health, news and more).  

Policy makers, broadcasters and car industry met at the Brussels Motor Show to raise awareness of recent EU rules that requires all new cars radio to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio. The requirement applies to EU all countries, including the ones with established DAB+ markets and those at an earlier stage of development of the technology. The FM system will be replaced by the new technology in the next years. The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) entered into force on 20 December 2018. It provides that “any car radio receiver integrated in a new vehicle available for sale or rent in the EU will be required to include a receiver capable of receiving and reproducing radio services provided via digital terrestrial radio broadcasting”. EU Member States have until December 2020 to transpose the European regulation into national regulation. Digital terrestrial radio offers greater choice and clearer audio services.

According to a news release published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the approval of a new ITU standard (ITU L.163) will pave the way for high-speed broadband services to be brought to rural communities through the use of lightweight, terabit-capable optical cables that can be deployed on the ground’s surface with minimal expense and environmental impact. According to the publication, even though radiocommunication can provide the ‘last mile’ connectivity, challenges arise when deploying in rural areas that are often many kilometres away from core networks. Optical infrastructure supported by the new standard, will therefore be indispensable in solving the challenge of providing true broadband to the otherwise inaccessible communities.

The top reasons why UK residents switched their broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) in 2018, were to save money (29.9%) or get access to faster speeds (25.4%), while 18.3% simply sought better internet quality. This was discovered from the results of an online survey of 1,380 ISPreview.com.co.uk readers, which was conducted between 16 November 2018 and 2 January 2019.

The outcome of the survey according to the report is not different from those of previous years, with broadband speed, price and service quality continuing predictably to be the motivator for people changing their ISP.

According to a news report by Times of India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have proposed to provide people in rural India with access to broadband services through cable television networks. This is in line with the effort by the government to boost rural connectivity.

The proposal was relayed in a meeting by the ministry and TRAI with service providers in mid-December. TRAI Chairman, Mr Ram Sewak Sharma cited an example of how the solution has been implemented in South Korea. Describing how the transition to broadband will happen, Sharma said that there will be a simple migration at the consumer’s end using a new set-top box whereas the configurations at the service provider’s end will be facilitated by the engineering arm of the ministry.  

According to the 2011 India census, rural India with an estimated population of 918 million, has only 186 million Internet users leaving out 732 million potential users.

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