Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

Grant for glass fibre
The European Commissioner for competition Neelie Kroes has allowed a grant of 85 million euro for glass fibre infrastructure in Limoges (France). She indicated that four criteria have been fulfilled. The ruling is being studied by Dutch municipalities as some want to start a glass fibre infrastructure with subsidies.

Chasing illegal downloaders
The Dutch foundation Brein an anti-piracy body, has started legal action against internet providers. The internet providers are not willing to deliver name and address of the music and movies pirates, saying that these data fall under the privacy law. The foundation has started summary proceedings against the internet providers. The internet providers however have started a long procedure against Brein. So far Brein has made a few deals with illegal downloaders.

Text messaging for alarm
More than 10.000 people around the port of Rotterdam have applied for being messages on their mobile in case of emergencies. Besides sirens, text messaging is used to inform people about dangerous situations. Text messaging was seen as a new means for disaster warning after a big fire on a ship last year.

Storage of internetdata
A discussion is raging among the Dutch internet providers about the storage of traffic data. The government wants the internet providers to store the traffic data in order to track down suspects and terrorists. The internet providers are protesting as they fear for the costs.

KPN studies TiVO
The Dutch incumbent telco KPN is studying TiVo. The machine fits in the multimedia offer of KPN with internet over ADSL2+, telephony and digital television as well as terrestrial digital television (active in a part of The Netherlands). TiVo is represented in Europe by Philips since 1995. However Philips has never been really active with TiVo. The consumer electronics company has problems introducing the service concept behind in Europe. In the meantime TiVo is on offer in the UK.

The triple player Versatel has come into troubled waters. The non executive chairman has been named in a shares scandal, when Versatel was introduced on the stock exchange in 1999. It was explicitly stated that Versatel as a company was not under scrutiny. The company was still busy talking to Belagcom. More details were released this week. It appears that John de Mol of Talpa Investment, who holds a minority of 42% of the shares in Versatel, has proposed the merger of a telco (Belgacom), a triple player (Versatel) and an entertainment company (Talpa). The idea is not new as Telefonica bought Endemol, a joint venture of John de Mol, in 2000 for some billions (and now wants to sell it for millions).

Sanoma wants to interactive with Talpa
The Dutch division of the Finnish magazine publisher is talking with Talpa about interactive projects such as internet radio and television as well as sms services. With the support of Talpa Sanoma, which is strong in women magazines, wants to set up digital television channels with Unilever. The publisher has problems reaching the youth in print, runs CU2 and Kaboem interactive services and wants to start an interactive youth channel with Talpa.

Complaints on acquisitions online
Complaints on online acquisitions have risen with forty per cent this year. Digital cameras and movie equipment, dvd players and computer parts are on top of the list. This concludes the Foundation Consumer Information Point (SCIP). In many cases consumers are not happy with the product delivered, or it is the wrong product or an incomplete delivery or a product different from the displayed product.

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