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Colorado to Undertake Major Study on Oil and Gas Emissions | Colorado Energy News

Colorado to Undertake Major Study on Oil and Gas Emissions | Colorado Energy News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it
The state is set to launch this summer a significant study of emissions tied to oil and gas development. The project will provide information about how oil and gas emissions behave, how they travel and their characteristics in areas along the northern Front Range. A second phase would assess possible health effects using information collected in the first phase.

Testimony at this week’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rulemaking hearing reinforced the views of experts for both industry and the conservation community that more and better science is needed related to oil and gas emissions.

 

“This study marks another important step in our aggressive efforts to ensure oil and gas development is conducted with the highest standards of environmental protection,” said Colorado Department of Natural Resources executive director Mike King.

 

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Russia: RSCC to launch satellite broadband to Central, South-Ural, Far East and Siberia regions in 2015 | TeleGeography

Online news journal Tdaily.ru reports that Russia’s FSUE Satellite Communications (RSCC) will launch satellite broadband services in the Far East and Siberia by April next year, and in the Central and South-Ural regions in Q3 2015.


The first launch will use resources on the Express-AM5 orbiter it says, while the second will utilise capacity on the Express-AM6 satellite.


At a meeting with journalists, RSCC chief executive officer Yuri Prokhorov said his company is developing high speed internet via the Ka band, while it also has Ka-Sat coverage on the Eutelsat-owned satellite covering European parts of Russia, which catered to 5,532 broadband users by mid-December 2014.


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This is the next generation of renewable energy technologies | Rebecca Burn-Callander | Telegraph.co.uk

This is the next generation of renewable energy technologies | Rebecca Burn-Callander | Telegraph.co.uk | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Scientists all over the globe are working to develop sustainable new energy sources to reduce our dependence on dwindling fossil fuel supplies.

In the UK, just 5pc of the nation’s energy comes from renewables. The Government has set a target of 15pc by 2020, but progress is slow.

Some sustainable energy sources, such as solar energy, are mature marketplaces, with 60 years of research behind them. Others, such as antimatter, are more experimental.

The science of antimatter is still in its infancy but scientists claim that mixing just half a gram of antimatter with half a gram of matter would create the same energy generated by the Hiroshima bomb.

There are several start-ups developing other ground-breaking technologies for generating electricity, some using methods that seem more Star Trek: The Next Generation than National Grid. We meet three entrepreneurs leading the charge into next-generation renewables.


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Thailand: Cellcos unite over 4G Spectrum Auction | TeleGeography.com

The CEOs of Thai cellcos Advanced Info Service (AIS), Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Corp made a joint announcement on 4G issues yesterday, urging the regulator and government to include sufficient bandwidth in the impending auctions of new spectrum licences, in order to meet demand, The Nation reports.


The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had planned to auction the expired 12.5MHz bandwidth each of True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC) in the 1800MHz band, plus AIS’s expiring 17.5MHz bandwidth in the 900MHz band, while questions remain over the potential inclusion of an unused 25MHz of DTAC’s 1800MHz bandwidth plus 10MHz of the same operator’s 850MHz spectrum.


Sigve Brekke, DTAC’s interim CEO, said that at least 10MHz-15MHz bandwidth in the 850MHz and 900MHz ranges and at least 15MHz bandwidth in the 1800MHz range should be available for each operator, stating: ‘We need more spectra to provide service access for all customers and Thai people, because the digital economy is about access for all. That’s why all three operators are together here.’


True CEO Suphachai Chearavanont said that having at least 20MHz bandwidth per operator would be a suitable amount for 4G technology, which consumed more spectrum space. The government should also consider the ‘beauty contest’ process as an alternative means of allocating new spectrum licences, which would benefit consumers, he said.

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Governor Brown picks aide to lead troubled California utility board | Ellen Knickmeyer | Houston Chronicle

Governor Brown picks aide to lead troubled California utility board | Ellen Knickmeyer | Houston Chronicle | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Governor Jerry Brown named a former adviser on Tuesday to be the next head of California's troubled utilities commission, replacing a regulatory chief accused of back-channel dealings with utilities.

Michael Picker, a former adviser to Brown on renewable energy and a former board member of a California utility, was Brown's pick to lead the California Public Utilities Commission, the governor's office said in a statement.

The appointment requires state lawmakers' approval.

Picker would replace Michael Peevey as commission president. Peevey announced in October he would not seek reappointment when his term expires at the end of December, after 12 years on the board.

Emails made public this year by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California's largest power utility, described Peevey and PG&E officials holding repeated private discussions on rate cases, penalties and other PG&E regulatory matters before the commission, as well as Peevey soliciting donations from the utility for a commission celebration and for a political campaign backed by the governor. Peevey has made no public comment on the conversations contained in the emails.

The email disclosures stemmed from federal investigations and public criticism over a 2010 PG&E pipeline blast that killed eight people in a San Francisco suburb. The National Transportation Safety Board said lax oversight by the state utilities commission was one reason for the disaster.

Federal prosecutors have indicted PG&E for alleged obstruction of justice in that investigation. PG&E says federal and state prosecutors have since informed the utility that they are also examining private communications between state utility regulators and PG&E.

Mark Toney, head of The Utility Reform Network, a public-advocacy group that has been critical of the CPUC and PG&E, said he welcomed Picker's nomination as the board's leader.

"We expect that he's going to stop the backroom deals and start making the decisions based on actual evidence," Toney said.


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Coal Ash and Fracking Fluid: Two More Victories for Environmental Protection | Steven Cohen Blog | HuffPost.com

Coal Ash and Fracking Fluid: Two More Victories for Environmental Protection | Steven Cohen Blog | HuffPost.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

While America recently elected a new and possibly anti-environmental Congress, we are still ending 2014 on a high note with two environmental victories.


Both originated in the executive branch of government--one in our national government and the other in the New York state government.


Over the past week: 1) EPA took a small but significant step to begin regulating coal ash, the stuff that remains after coal is burned; and 2) New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to continue New York's ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.


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Ireland: Eircom competes to partner government in National Broadband Plan | TeleGeography.com

Irish fixed and mobile operator Eircom has revealed its desire to be the government’s partner in a plan to provide fibre-to-the-premises (FTTx) to 600,000 homes and 100,000 businesses across the country under the National Broadband Plan.


As the top-placed broadband provider in Ireland in terms of subscribers, with 37.8% of the market at 30 September, Eircom plans to spend EUR1.5 billion (USD1.8 billion) on infrastructure upgrades to connect 1.6 million homes with fibre broadband, inclusive of its recent plan to increase fibre speeds to 1Gbps in 66 towns by mid-2016.


Eircom CEO Richard Moat comments that Eircom is working hard to produce proposals for the National Broadband Plan, saying: ‘We think it is vital to be the winning player in the competition and we think we’re the company most strongly positioned to achieve that.’

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Ukraine: Ukrtelecom reaches 332 additional settlements with fixed broadband in Jan-Dec | TeleGeography.com

Ukrainian incumbent telco Ukrtelecom announced in a press release that since the beginning of the year it has expanded its fixed broadband internet services to 332 additional settlements, after adding a further 87 communities across 20 regions to the footprint in December alone, following expansion to 99 towns/villages in 20 regions in November.


TeleGeography says that Ukrtelecom’s xDSL high speed internet network covers over 1,600 settlements nationwide, and in recent times the telco has firmly focused on expanding broadband to small communities, many of which its fixed network rivals do not serve.

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The Cleveland Model—How the Evergreen Cooperatives are Building Community Wealth | Community-Wealth.org

The Cleveland Model—How the Evergreen Cooperatives are Building Community Wealth | Community-Wealth.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Something important is happening in Cleveland. The Democracy Collaborative, in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, the  City of Cleveland , and the city's major hospitals and universities—is helping to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy.


Increasingly, this model is being referred to nationally as The Cleveland Model. Other cities nationwide have begun the process of replicating and adapting this innovative approach to economic development, green job creation, and neighborhood stabilization.


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Liquid completes 4,200km Kenyan fibre rollout | TeleGeography.com

Liquid Telecom has completed the roll out of 4,200km of fibre infrastructure connecting 39 out of 47 counties in Kenya, writes ITWeb Africa. The company said that demand for high speed internet access in the country has been driven by businesses such as banks and government offices and institutions.


‘We believe that everyone has the right to be connected and so investing in the build out of infrastructure to the counties will help us in our goal to connect every person and business in Africa,’ commented Ben Roberts, CEO of Liquid Telecom Kenya, adding: ‘By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can transform the very nature of an economy and support economic development.'


'For our clients, the main concern is a stable internet connection that enables them provide swift services to the public through accessing information on the national database, allowing regional staff to process requests and make real time updates, and a fibre network is more reliable in these instances’.


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France: Free Mobile to meet 3G coverage obligations prior to deadline | TeleGeography

Jean-Ludovic Silicani, the outgoing president of French telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), has confirmed that domestic cellco Free Mobile will meet its 3G coverage obligations prior to the deadline of 15 January 2015, La Tribune reports.


The official was cited as saying: ‘According to the information available to date, Free should be able to meet its obligation to cover 75% of the population with its own frequency by mid-January.’

TeleGeography notes that in mid-January 2010 Arcep concluded the formal handover of the country’s fourth 3G licence to fixed line operator Iliad’s newly created wireless unit Free Mobile.


The Iliad group committed to launching its network within two years of the award of the licence, and it duly went on to introduce commercial services in mid-January 2012. The newcomer, which paid EUR240 million (USD296 million) for the concession, is obliged to cover at least 75% of the population with its own 3G network by 12 January 2015 and 90% of the population by 12 January 2018.

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NV: Tesla’s economic multiplier looks good | John Solari | Reno Gazette-Journal

NV: Tesla’s economic multiplier looks good | John Solari | Reno Gazette-Journal | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Now that much of the dust has settled over the Tesla deal that will bring the world’s largest battery plant to Northern Nevada, one big questions remains — will the economic projections surrounding Tesla actually pan out?

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has done a great job parsing the economic projections behind the Tesla jobs figures. But there are some interesting macroeconomic trends that are making the Tesla deal look better by the day.

Here is a brief recap of the economic multiplier that was used to project Tesla’s impact on Northern Nevada. Tesla is projected to create 6,500 direct jobs, all of them by 2018. Another 7,814 indirect jobs are projected from suppliers, distributors and other associated industries. Then, 8,402 induced jobs are estimated from the increased demand of this new workforce spending within the community. That totals 22,715 jobs.

There have been many questions about these calculations, and it should be reiterated that no projections are perfect in a fast-changing economy. But here are three reasons why Tesla’s economic multiplier projections are looking even more promising today than when the Tesla deal was approved:


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Latest S House prototype can be assembled in just 3 hours | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Latest S House prototype can be assembled in just 3 hours | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Back in September, we reported on Vo Trong Nghia Architects' ongoing effort to produce a suitable home for Vietnam's poor. The latest iteration of the firm's low-cost S House sees the prototype home refined, and the prefabricated dwelling now sports a more stable structure, and an impressive on-site build time of just three hours.

Completed in November and installed in Ho Chi Minh City, the S House 3 has just one large interior space inside that measures 31.6 sq m (340 sq ft). Whereas the previous S House was built from a pre-cast concrete frame bolted together with steel fixings, this newest version comprises a lightweight steel framework, cement board cladding, and a reinforced concrete foundation.

"The aim of this serial project is to provide stable but lightweight, permanent but affordable homes for low-income earners in a harsh tropical climate," says Vo Trong Nghia Architects. "Although there are many local challenges such as weak ground condition, frequent typhoon and potential earthquake, the structure is stable enough to withstand natural disasters."


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The man who can see the Internet | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

The man who can see the Internet | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

In August, we profiled Doug Madory, an Internet analyst who, by pouring over online traffic data, is often able to spot when countries have been kicked offline before the rest of the world wakes up to the fact. Madory has been in the news a lot this week, as observers wonder why North Korea seems to have gone dark. Here, Madory explains how exactly he goes about seeing the Internet, around the globe, all from his office in New Hampshire. 

When major world crises erupt these days, a least some members of the media rush to check the blog of Renesys, a small New Hampshire-based firm specializing in what it calls "Internet intelligence." The insights found there into which dictator has kicked his country off the Internet for how long is a byproduct of Renesys's core work of selling information on the flow of Internet traffic to Internet service providers.


But by monitoring the Internet's vital signs, the company can see how the ever-evolving global network of networks fits into global events.


That the company's blog takes a mostly dry, dispassionate tone hardly masks that it is offering a juicy peek into how the world works today. When Russia quietly turned on the hastily built 29-mile Kerch Strait Cable connecting it to Crimea, Renesys was able to tell the rest of the world about it right away.


Doug Madory is the Renesys senior analyst who writes much of the company's coverage of news events. In his office in Hanover, N.H., Madory sits with a live feed of Internet routing data running on his computer, he says, and a TeleGeography map showing global Internet cable connections on his wall. A 2009 edition, it's a bit dated technologically, but it serves another purpose.

"When I forget where Turkmenistan is," says Madory, "I can look at the map."

Madory and his colleagues have the rare ability to see in real time where a nation is situated in the global digital fabric. When unrest began in Ukraine in March, Madory says that his phone started ringing with reporters asking about the odds of Vladimir Putin hijacking Ukraine's Internet connections.

Not likely; despite Russia hulking to its east, Ukraine, says Madory, "looks like a European country in terms of the level of domestic connectivity and the international connections they've got." Ukraine's connections to the the rest of the world, says Madory, "run mostly to the west."

But what, exactly, is Madory watching?


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UK's biggest solar farm connects to national grid | Adam Vaughan | The Guardian

UK's biggest solar farm connects to national grid | Adam Vaughan | The Guardian | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The biggest solar farm in the UK, capable of powering 14,000 homes, has been connected to the national grid in Oxfordshire.

The 46MW Landmead solar farm, in East Hanney near Abingdon, is built on low-grade farmland used for grazing sheep, which will remain along with new wildflowers to be planted as part of efforts to improve the site’s biodiversity.

In October, Liz Truss, the environment secretary, attacked solar power projects built on farmland, saying they were hitting food production and announced that farmers would lose agricultural subsidies if they allowed solar panels on farmland.

Truss’s intervention comes after a decision earlier in the year by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to bring forward the end of the current subsidy regime for large solar farms, with ministers saying they wanted to see more solar on building’s rooftops and less mounted on the ground.

Toddington Harper, chief executive of Belectric, the company that co-owns Landmead with First Solar, said the changes did not mean the end of such large-scale projects.

“I think the changes to the subsidy scheme have certainly made life more difficult. Having said that, though they have changed the ROC scheme [Renewable Obligation Certificates, the subsidies being phased out], within the Contracts for Difference [the new subsidy scheme], there is still an opportunity to deliver projects like this for the UK,” he said.


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UK: BT trials ‘fibre-to-the-basement’ in City of London | TeleGeography.com

BT has announced a trial of what it calls ‘fibre-to-the-basement’ broadband network architecture in the City of London to boost internet speeds for hard-to-reach businesses and homes, reports Techweekeurope.


The trial will see around 50 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) based at 65 London Wall and 225 homes in the Middlesex Street Estate offered access to download speeds of up to 80Mbps ‘from more than 130 different service providers’.


In certain areas there is a lack of physical space for BT to install street fibre cabinets, and the fibre-to-the-basement trial addresses this situation by extending the fibre directly into the building, although BT is differentiating its latest trial local access method from fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) networks.


The City of London Corporation has previously said that a lack of affordable superfast broadband in the Square Mile is harming businesses and making the capital’s financial centre less attractive to global companies.


Joe Garner, CEO of BT’s Openreach division, stated: ‘City-centre locations present unique challenges when it comes to upgrading consumer broadband. For example, there is less room for us to install a fibre cabinet on the pavement, and it is often harder to get permission to close roads to do the work. We also need to secure permission from multiple landlords to run new cables across their land and properties. That’s why we are being innovative with new technology solutions like this one. We are optimistic that this new solution will prove that fibre broadband can be installed into building basements quickly, smoothly and economically.’

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Yes, North Korea has the internet. Here's what it looks like. | Max Fisher | Vox.com

North Korea is so paranoid about its citizens accessing the internet that merely owning a computer requires permission from local government authorities, and all personal computers are registered with the police, as if they were shotguns. Private ownership of fax machines is banned outright, and sending a single fax requires high-level authorization.


Meanwhile, pirated DVDs of South Korean TV dramas are so illegal that North Koreans caught in regular police sweeps for them can be sentenced to years in labor camps. So you can imagine how tightly restricted internet access would be in the Hermit Kingdom.

Still, North Korea does have the internet. That small web of internet connections between North Korea and the outside world collapsed entirely on Monday, under an apparent mass cyber attack. (The US is not claiming responsibility for the attack, though President Obama warned just days earlier of a "proportional response" to North Korea's hack against Sony.)

In the US, one common reaction to this news has been surprise. Could one of the world's poorest countries, which has placed itself under voluntary isolation, really have the internet? How does it work? Who can access it? And why would North Korea allow any internet access at all?


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NY: Buffalo Finds Verizon, TWC Exaggerate Broadband Coverage | Bill Nelson | DSLReports.com

NY: Buffalo Finds Verizon, TWC Exaggerate Broadband Coverage | Bill Nelson | DSLReports.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Currently in Buffalo, New York, many are clamoring for a municipal broadband option due to the monopolistic grip that Time Warner Cable and Verison DSL have on the area. One big reason for the consumer anger is that both Time Warner Cable and Verizon refuse to expand their faster internet speeds to more parts of the areas.

So, several counties around Buffalo invited about 20 companies to their cities to see whether they would be interested in installing high-speed internet in their areas. In their request to the companies, the cities included a survey done by a consulting firm that showed just how badly the city needs more competition. Setting aside the fact that so many in Buffalo struggle to receive even basic broadband speeds. the survey found that close to 4,000 customers don’t even have access to broadband internet.

But the survey also showed an interesting fact. According to Buffalo News, the results showed that both Time Warner Cable and Verizon had been exaggerating the level of broadband coverage in that area. Typically, cable providers can report to the state that an entire block is served if one house within that block has broadband access.

The survey took the utterly rational and obvious view in determining that a block was not served if any customer on that block didn’t have broadband access. What happened when these basic facts were inserted? The towns coverage rate plummeted to “barely 65 to 70 percent.”


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Slovakia : Slovak Telekom completes all-IP migration | TeleGeography.com

Slovak Telekom (ST), which is part of the Deutsche Telekom (DT) group, has completed its transition to an all-IP network, with all fixed services now offered via an IP platform.


The migration took more than two years, the telco says, with the main all-IP benefits being the cost savings associated with a more streamlined and efficient infrastructure, plus the increased potential for broadband services.


The upgrade process involved removing 25% of various access and transmission technologies, and more than 33% of network elements from ST’s premises.


Earlier this year, DT enabled Macedonia to become the first country to switch fully from the PSTN to an all-IP network.

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Netherlands: Two million connected to Reggefiber FTTH network | TeleGeography.com

Open fibre broadband operator Reggefiber has announced it now has two million Dutch homes connected to its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, having connected the two millionth in Hengelo on 19 December.


The company commenced operations in 2005, offering wholesale access to its network to broadband providers in the Netherlands, and in 2012 reached one million homes connected to its network.


Two years later connections have surpassed two million, with 623,000 of those being active. Bert Nijboer, general manager at Reggefiber said: ‘It’s great to see that we have achieved such growth acceleration in the last few years, with already two million connected households…


The number of households in the Netherlands enjoying the benefits of fibre moreover also continues to grow every day.’ The operator was fully acquired by Dutch incumbent telco KPN in November 2014.

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Taiwan: Far EastTone targets two million 4G subscribers by end-2015 | TeleGeography.com

Taiwanese multi-service operator Far EasTone (FET) is aiming to double the number of its 4G subscribers to two million by the end of 2015, up from the one million it currently has on its books.


According to the Taipei Times, FET vice-president Maxwell Cheng has said that in order to achieve its target it will roll out additional base stations offering 4G via the 1800MHz band until there are twice as many than those 4G stations it already has using the 700MHz frequency band.


Meanwhile, FET is reportedly intending to introduce commercial voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services in the first quarter of 2015.

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Indonesian telcos insist govt provide incentives before they commit to five-year broadband expansion | TeleGeography

The Jakarta Post reports Indonesian operators PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), PT XL Axiata and PT Indosat as saying that whilst they are behind the government’s five-year broadband expansion plan, they will need ‘certain incentives’ before they can commit fully.

Last week, CommsUpdate reported the minister for communications and technology, Mr Rudiantara, as saying that state-owned Telkom would set the pace in the country’s proposed USD24 billion drive to expand the country’s broadband capacity over the next five years.


At the time the minister added that the government was considering extending ‘unspecified incentives’ to Telkom in an effort to bolster internet access in southeast Asia’s largest economy.


However, with Rudiantara noting that the government is still in the process of finalising the details of the plan, Telkom has gone on record as saying it will require certain assurances – such as additional spectrum and some guarantee that it will be able to see a return on investment for covering less commercial areas.


Further, it is understood that Telkom is advocating tax and regulatory incentives from the government, while for its part, XL Axiata favours the adoption of an infrastructure sharing plan.


Finally, Indosat says it would only come on board if the state provides it with assistance to boost its revenues and trim operational costs.

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Ireland: 4G speeds for Eircom pre-paid mobile subscribers | TeleGeography.com

Irish fixed and mobile operator Eircom has teamed up with Dublin-based software vendor Openet to launch 4G data services for its pre-pay mobile subscribers in time for Christmas.


According to Openet, which is supplying the carrier with its Business Support System (BSS) to support the launch, customers to Eircom’s eMobile-brand pre-pay mobile broadband services and those signed up to its Meteor Mobile unit’s ‘Simplicity Plans’ can now enjoy 4G speeds in time for the festive period.


Geoff Shakespeare, managing director of Technology Evolution and Development at Eircom, commented: ‘The [Openet] team enabled us to deliver … 4G capability to our pre-paid users in ultra-quick time and with no disruption. Openet’s solutions provide us with a flexible and reliable platform for the future monetisation of our 4G services.’

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Bright Spark: NZ telco now offers LTE in 70 cities | TeleGeography.com

Spark New Zealand (formerly Telecom New Zealand) has announced that it now offers 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity in more than 70 towns and cities, covering roughly two-thirds of the population.


David Havercroft, chief operating officer of Spark Connect, commented: ‘Since we launched 4G just over a year ago, we’ve frankly been playing catch-up with our main competitor [Vodafone New Zealand], which had a head start on us with its 4G build. We’ve now closed that gap. Based on our projected build over the next few months, we’re confident that if we’re not already in a leadership position in terms of coverage, we will be any time soon.’

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Hybrid-electric aircraft takes to the skies | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Hybrid-electric aircraft takes to the skies | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

We're all familiar with hybrid cars, but hybrid planes are virtually unheard of. Now though, researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, have partnered with Boeing to test what they say is the first hybrid-electric aircraft. It is said to use 30 percent less fuel than a gas-only equivalent.

"Although hybrid cars have been available for more than a decade, what's been holding back the development of hybrid or fully-electric aircraft until now is battery technology," says project lead from Cambridge's Department of Engineering Dr Paul Robertson. "Until recently, they have been too heavy and didn't have enough energy capacity. But with the advent of improved lithium-polymer batteries, similar to what you’d find in a laptop computer, hybrid aircraft – albeit at a small scale – are now starting to become viable."

Gizmag is no stranger to hybrid aircraft. Volta Volaré promised its hybrid four-seater GT4 back in 2012, while just last month we featured the Faradair BEHA concept that will theoretically be powered by electric motors and a bio-diesel engine. The Cambridge/Boeing test plane is a much simpler design than both of those, however.


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HEMP: Something All Homes Should Be Made Of – Scotland Community Begins Sustainable Housing Project | Arjun Walia | Collective-Evolution.com

HEMP: Something All Homes Should Be Made Of – Scotland Community Begins Sustainable Housing Project | Arjun Walia | Collective-Evolution.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Many people are becoming aware of ways to live that are more harmonious with the planet. It seems that we are transitioning to a very ancient understanding of how to operate here on Earth, with a very advanced ‘know how’ of technologies and methods to begin making that transition. New ways of living are coming to light and although you may not hear about them often, communities all over the world are starting to implement them.

A new sustainable housing project in the Northwest of Scotland will use industrial hemp as the main building material. It’s made of a prefabricated wall system called Hembuild, which is a mixture of the plant’s woody core and a lime-based binder. Another popular name for this is Hempcrete. This is something all of our homes should be made of.

An English housing company that specializes in hemp-based construction called ‘Hemcrete Projects,’ supplied the system. Two prototype houses have already been completed in the township of Achabeag.

Hembuild ticks all of the boxes when it comes to delivering sustainable properties, and the system is ideally suitable for what are two totally different styled houses but which fulfill the requirements of a scheme where the use of natural materials and environmental sustainability are the order of the day- Peter Smith, Roderick James Architects.

Hemp has many uses, over 50, 000 to be exact. When it comes to new and sustainable housing ideas, it seems to always be about creating a more efficient home in terms of insulation, light, electricity, etc. Mainstream belief on the subject would have you believe that top corporations and government projects are working with the best possible technology to bring forth solutions that work and that are harmonious with the environment. If that was the case, the entire planet would be using Hemp to build everything.


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