Australian lawmaker hits broadband 'deal'
Australian lawmakers issued final approval to legislation aimed at clearing the way for national high-speed broadband Monday. But Senator Nick Xenophon, a South Australian independent, said the new access arrangements allow for a “special deal” for Telstra. “This taxpayer-funded enterprise needs to be a true level playing field to attract my support for the upcoming legislation,” Xenophon said. “But right now there is scope within legislation that could see larger telcos being granted cheaper access than smaller players, and that is simply not acceptable.” Prime Minister Julia Gillard needs the support of independents and minor-party lawmakers in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament to pass any new laws.
Broadband satellite firm O3b raises more funding
The satellite-communications company O3b Networks has raised USD1.2 billion from a group of investors and banks in a recent final round of network funding. O3b, which is backed by Google, plans to launch its fiber-quality Internet service for emerging markets in the first half of 2013. “We are looking to connect the unconnected, now we can start to do that,” Chief Executive Mark Rigolle said in an interview.
Indian scandals make investors cleanse stock portfolios
Indian stocks have been sliding amid allegations of bribery and corruption in two different scandals. First, several companies that bid for wireless licenses in 2008 were accused of using falsified information or receiving “undue favors” from the ministry handling the sale, and then there was the arrest of bank officials for accepting bribes in for large corporate loans. Since India's telecom minister resigned two weeks ago, Reliance Communications shares have dropped 25 percent.