September 23, 1997East Tunnel crew setting wall forms next to the S.O.D. Unit.
April 13, 2000Japanese students work on the finishing touches of the new apartments in the EastCrescent Complex. Photo by: DoctressNeutopia
Google has said that all of the 34 cities where it is discussing expanding its Google Fiber broadband scheme have now largely completed their ‘checklist’ of launch requirements. In an update on the progress of its superfast broadband scheme, Google said that it will now start to work with the cities to tie up “checklist-related loose ends” – such as draft agreements that will let Google place “fiber huts” on city land – before deciding which cities will be included in the project.“We may spend some time working together to figure out an ideal permitting process that would be fast and efficient. And, as we review the information that cities have already provided, like infrastructure maps, we’ll probably have a lot of follow-up questions,” said Jill Szuchmacher from the Google Fiber expansion team in a company blog post.Google said it will also need to work with either the city or state to get a video franchise agreement that would grant it permission to build a local network, and may need to need pole-attachment agreements with local utility firms and other companies.“After all of these steps, we’ll start drawing up construction blueprints for local fiber networks. These detailed designs will help us see how complex it would be to build in each city, and will be used as we make our final decisions,” said Szuchmacher.Google is due to announce which new cities will get Google Fiber by the end of the year. The 34 under consideration are spread across nine metro areas – Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Dunham.Google has already rolled out Gigabit-speed broadband – offering internet and fibre-powered TV services – in Kansas City, Austin and Provo. read more
‘Above target’ Viaplay subscriber growth has led to a positive Q2 for Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group.The company added 65,000 subscribers in what is normally a “quiet quarter” due to “seasonality in the sports subscriber base”.Speaking on the company’s earnings call, CEO and president Anders Jensen (pictured) said that this was “driven by a combination of healthy gross intake, lower churn levels, and ground-breaking new B2B deals”. He continued: “We have added more original programming and acquired more content and live sports, which have all contributed to Viaplay’s growth, as have our ongoing technology and product developments.”Viaplay has added 244,000 subscribers over the past year, to make up a total of 1.421 million subscribers. Customers of the service represent 60% of NENT Group’s total subs.Jensen added that streaming has become increasingly important to the company’s strategy, stating that “put simply, capturing the streaming opportunity is the key factor in driving long-term value for our shareholders.”Speaking on the topic of Viaplay’s pricing, Jensen specifically cited Netflix’s strategy and suggested that any adjustments could damage the OTT service’s growth: “On Viaplay, we are now announcing price increases on sports in Denmark as our first step, and we are following the development of Netflix price increases that we now see traveling through Europe. If and when they come to the Nordics, we will increase at the same – to the same levels. “We think it’s a bit premature to start to create our own price category. We don’t want to offset the very healthy growth patterns that we see right now, but we believe that pricing power is one of the key tools going forward as the category gets more and more interesting and people are trading down on traditional TV packages. This is still cheap.” Subscription sales account for 60% of NENT Group’s revenue, with Viaplay accounting for 60% of that. ‘Subscription & Other sales’ were up 8%.Overall, Group sales increased by 6% and the operating income for its combined business segments grew by 5%.Advertising sales accounted for 26% of group sales and were down by 3%. Jensen attributed this to the Ice Hockey World Championship not being aired on Swedish free-tv and the “continuing soft TV and Radio advertising markets.”NENT Group has heavily invested in content in recent times, with five new Viaplay originals debuting in the quarter and a further six new shows in production. In Q2, the company also announced several sports rights agreements including exclusive coverage of Alpine and cross-country skiing from 2021, the Open golf championship until 2024, and Danish Superliga football until 2024. read more