June 5, 2013The CARPETBAG BRIGADE BI-CULTURAL ROADSCHOW consists of three main groups, acrobats with the ‘Carpetbag Brigade’, another group of acrobats from Nemcatacoa Teatro from Bogota Columbia, musicians with “Hojarasca” from Bogota Columbia and spoken word performer from ‘Verbo-Bala’.[The introduction of Sunday nights performance with the audience in the background on the Lab Building stairs, photo by Adam Cooper -Teran]All 20 people stayed here at Arcosanti for five weeks. It was wonderful to listen to the flutes and guitar of the ‘Hojarasca’ musicians, and to watch intense practice sessions on the ground and on stilts, in the amphitheater and the Vaults.There was a chance to get to know some of the people; the group helped with various activities [some on stilts], they volunteered in the kitchen with meal preparation, helped carry and mount the 16 foot scroll drawing back into the archives, helped with work in the archives and many other activities.[photo by Adam Cooper -Teran]The subject of Sunday nights performance “Dios de la Adrenalina” was the Cocaine Superhighway between Columbia and the USA, with focus on the pain experienced by communities at its opposite ends. It was an emotionally charged event and a highly skilled performance, enhanced by the spoken word of Logan Phillips. It was really an incredible performance.[photo by Adam Cooper -Teran]The group moved on to Prescott and will be part of ‘Tsunami on the Square’ line-up on 6/15/2013, then continue on to Flagstaff. Check their web-site at diosadrenalina.[photo by Adam Cooper -Teran]Thank you Adam Cooper -Teran for sharing your photos.Additional photos of this performance will be posted on Friday, 6/7/2013.
Russia is on course to complete digital switchover by 2017, according to broadcast infrastructure provider RTRS’s chief Viktor Pinchuk.Local press reported Pinchuk as saying that the country’s first digital multiplex would include the new public TV channel set to launch next year as well as a channel for regional services, while a competition for participation in a second multiplex would be held in the middle of December. The second mux will comprise 10 channels initially.Pinchuk said that a decision of switching off DVB-T transmssions during the first quarter of 2013 would be taken after the situation was analysed. However, it was likely the switch would be delayed slightly, he said.Pinchuk said there were currently 96 models of DVB-T2 set-top available on the Russian market.
Phlipp HummWhile fixed-mobile convergence in the form of bundling is a reality in most European countries, “true convergence” has yet to emerge will only happen if enabled by a favourable regulatory regime, according to Philipp Humm, Vodafone’s CEO for Europe.“So far convergence has been driven by discounts and the herd effect,” said Humm, delivering a keynote at Cable Congress in Brussels this morning. “The higher the discounts the more customers will choose a converged product.”While take-up had accelerated in countries like Spain and Portugal, where incumbents and alternative providers had engaged in intense price competition, in countries where discounts were low only a small proportion of customers were converged, said Humm.Humm said that mobile players like Vodafone had bought fixed assets to avoid being squeezed out by incumbents. However, while convergence had been a defensive move initally, but it was now a strategic priority and “the right choice for our customers”. He said that “convergence is our future and one that we are committed to”.Humm said that consumers will come to understand that they can consume content everywhere as content and software move to the cloud and TVs become computers, while 4G becomes ubiquitous. In the UK, he pointed out that 4G customers currently use 2GB of data but Netflix 4G customers use four to five GB.“Once you are in the cloud you will never return to device storage,” said Humm. Operators will migrate to all-IP networks and Vodafone is already doing this, he said, while virtualisation of mobile networks is already happening.True convergence will happen when content and software is in the cloud, said Humm.“The beauty of true convergence is that it is super-sticky,” said Humm. “Let’s hope that on the way we don’t destroy value as the incumbents in Spain and Portugal have done already.”Humm said that “intelligent regulation” was nevertheless required, enabling in-market consolidation and facilitating cross-market consolidation. There should be non-discriminatory access to NGNA broadband outside existing operators’ footprints, he said.Humm said that the EC seems to be more supportive towards consolidation now, but operators like Vodafone hope to see action to match the talk.He also said that public subsidies had to take into account of the nature of infrastructure investment.“We see ourselves as an infrastructure based player. You need to create a level playing field. The way subsidies work is you are kind of subsidising the incumbent. Operators can upgrade their existing infrastructure to VDSL, which is cheaper than investing in the ground. If we invest we need to invest from scratch,” said Humm.Humm said operators need access to premium content. He said operators had to convince content rights owners to give up monetising every distribution channel individual and “monetise customers instead”. He said they should “never stand in the way of what customers want”. He said he also looked to regulation to prevent exclusive content tie-ups that would not benefit consumers.“We don’t want to buy rights; we want to distribute content. But if others buy exclusive rights, we will need to buy exclusive rights,” he said.Humm said Vodafone had 10 million TV customers currently. Fixed networks account for 15% of revenues. He said Vodafone wanted to “get Europe back to growth” and fixed would be “a major factor in turning our European business around”. Humm said Vodafone could not have “one solution for all markets” but would move in this direction over time. At the same time it is investing in Project Spring for the upgrade of its mobile networks.Taking questions after his presentation, Humm said mobile operators had to learn how to market fixed networks. “We see huge benefits of getting cable know-how to kick-start our DSL business again,” he said. “The biggest synergies in acquisitions are always in-market. The biggest is if you can merge mobile to mobile but mobile to cable enables you to create synergies from the backhaul network and so on.”Addressing future trends, he said that Vodafone is investing in machine-to-machine applications, particularly in automotive, as well as energy monitoring and smart home applications. Humm said as Vodafone penetrates more a more consumer areas, it will see a big uptake of 5G, where low latency enables the distribution of HD video on the move. “That will be the next wave,” he said.
Karen bradleyOfcom has submitted additional advice on the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky to the UK government.The broadcast regulator made the submission at the end of last week to secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Karen Bradley, with the advice due to be published “in due course”.The move comes after Bradley requested “advice and clarification” earlier this month in light of representations made in relation to the proposed merger.“The Secretary of State will now carefully consider that advice before making her decision on referral on the basis of all the evidence before her, and will do so as soon as is reasonably practicable,” said the government in a statement.The government said earlier this month that the submissions “raise new evidence” and asked Ofcom to take a fresh look at the deal, with a view to seeking “further clarification” on some of these points.Bradley said in July that she had pushed back a decision on whether to refer 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of Sky, but said it was highly likely the bid would be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority on the grounds of media plurality.