Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.
Stories from Abroad
BT’s chief executive said the telecommunications group had turned its broadband network into an “unstoppable machine” that will ultimately “end in tears” for many of its fiber competitors. “There is only going to be one national network,” Philip Jansen said. “Why do you need to have multiple providers?” The former monopoly said that its networking division Openreach had laid fibre to 9.6 million premises, with 29 percent of people in those areas opting to move over to its fibre offering.
The Iranian government's attempts in recent months to stifle protests through internet blackouts, digital curfews, and content blocking have presented a particularly extreme example of how far regimes can go in restricting digital access.
As if household budgets were not already under enough pressure, millions of broadband and mobile phone customers look set to face rises of more than 14% in their monthly bills from April 2023. BT, TalkTalk, Three, and Vodafone are among the big operators that are contractually allowed to increase their bills in line with the previous year’s inflation rate, as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) in December – plus a further 3%-3.9% on top. If the increases are passed on in full, as many experts expect, it would result in home broadband customers typically paying about £50 ($60) a yea
The UK government has warned mobile and broadband providers that it is not “right” for them to raise prices by more than 14 percent from April 2023, as customers contend with the surge in living costs. Much of the fixed broadband and mobile and phone market has in recent years implemented price increases in April of each year for new customers and those already in contract. Telecommunications groups tend to base rises on the previous year’s annualized rate of inflation, plus about 3.9 percent.
In the United States during the fourth quarter of 2022, T-Mobile was the fastest mobile operator with a median download speed of 151.37 Mbps. XFINITY overtook Spectrum as the fastest fixed broadband provider at 226.18 Mbps. In Mexico, Telcel had the fastest median download speed over mobile at 43.04 Mbps. Totalplay was fastest for fixed broadband (80.36 Mbps). In Canada. Rogers was fastest for fixed broadband (249.08 Mbps). Telekom was the fastest mobile operator in Germany with a median download speed of 90.33 Mbps. Vodafone was fastest for fixed broadband at 116.19 Mbps.
The UK government introduced new rules that make it easier to install faster broadband into apartments and flats across. Additionally, a new law has been introduced that requires new properties in England to be built with gigabit broadband connections, sparing tenants from footing the bill for later upgrades. Amendments to Building Regulations 2010 were announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) on January 6 mandate new homes constructed in England to be fitted with infrastructure and connections required to achieve gigabit internet connectivity.
Internet connectivity continues to speed ahead for people around the world, especially as countries prioritize and improve mobile and fixed broadband networks. The improvement of global median download speeds has been somewhat asymmetrical over the past year on the Speedtest Global Index. Fixed broadband speeds made greater strides over the past year than mobile download speeds, with fixed broadband speeds becoming at least 28% faster and mobile becoming nearly 17% faster from November 2021 to November 2022.
Canada’s competition tribunal approved Rogers Communications’ CAD 20 billion ($14.77 billion) bid for rival operator Shaw Communications.
The Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced the conclusion of two inquiries into the data processing operations of Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (“Meta Ireland”) in connection with the delivery of its Facebook and Instagram services.
Twitter executives have claimed for years that the company makes concerted efforts to detect and thwart government-backed covert propaganda campaigns on its platform. Behind the scenes, however, the company provided direct approval and internal protection to the US military’s network of social media accounts and online personas, whitelisting a batch of accounts at the request of the government. The Pentagon has used this network, which includes US government-generated news portals and memes, in an effort to shape opinion in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and beyond.