agentsSolomon Islandstraining The Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau has launched its first specialist agents’ online training program – ‘Hapi Isles Specialist’ – and agents who successfully complete all training modules by 15 October 2017 receive automatic entry into a draw to win one of 10 $50 pre-paid Visa cards.SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said a focus of the program is to equip key frontline sales staff with product knowledge via a series of online modules designed to help them learn about the Solomon Islands and the nine provinces which make up the country, and the niche products that range from culture and WWII history to reef and wreck diving, sport fishing, surfing and bird watching. All modules will also be expanded as more product comes online.REGISTER HERE for the Hapi Isles Specialist program
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20Jun Caro Center expansion receives conference report approval State Sen. Mike Green and state Rep. Edward J. Canfield, D.O. on Tuesday announced that Caro will be home to a new regional psychiatric hospital.“Today’s announcement that the new state hospital will be constructed at the site of the current Caro Center is a direct reflection of the strong community support for this facility,” said Green, R-Mayville.The Capital Outlay portion of the fiscal year 2018 budget will include both planning and construction authorization for a new state hospital at the existing Caro Center location.The state was considering a new location for this facility, but Green and Canfield were successful in keeping the expansion in Tuscola County.“The Caro Center has been providing top-notch care for over 100 years, and with over 350 full-time employees, it is a critical employer in Tuscola County,” said Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “Moving it would devastate the county’s economy and make receiving proper treatment significantly more difficult for many patients.”The lawmakers point to data that shows more than 80 percent of the center’s patients come from a bordering county, or from the south and east, which is still considered to be a reasonable driving distance. Data also shows about a third of the facility’s employees live in a Caro ZIP code and over 70 percent of workers live within 30 miles of the Caro Center.“I want to especially thank Rep. Canfield for his tireless work in making sure this got done,” Green said. “From Tuscola County and beyond, we would like to personally thank all who contacted the governor to express their commitment to keeping Caro Center.”Canfield echoed Green’s sentiments.“I would especially like to thank the governor for listening to our constituents and agreeing that the present location is best for the new facility,” Canfield said. “This was a true example of a representative government working for the people.”House Bill 4323, which includes the project language, will now go before the Senate and House of Representatives for a final vote. Categories: Canfield News,News
21Feb Macomb County legislators vote to boost funding for urgent road repairs Categories: Diana Farrington News Macomb County would receive an estimated additional $4.48 million – and its cities and villages would receive money on top of that – as part of a new plan to quickly boost road repairs across Michigan.The money is included in a $175 million bill approved by the state House today with the support of Republican Reps. Diana Farrington of Utica, Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township, Peter Lucido of Shelby Township, Steve Marino of Harrison Township and Jeff Yaroch of Richmond.Money will be used this year under the House plan, which won unanimous bipartisan support.“Driving to work, to school, to the grocery store – dodging potholes is part of the daily commute in Michigan, and people are tired of it,” Hornberger said.Farrington said: “There’s an opportunity to provide additional help to our road preservation and construction efforts, and we must seize it.”The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment.“The money for additional road repairs is there right now. We aren’t raiding another part of the budget or raising anyone’s taxes to accomplish this,” Marino said.Lucido said: “It’s a no-brainer. All of us are sick of driving on these roads. I’m white-knuckling it to make sure I don’t drive into a crater every time I drive from Macomb to Lansing.”Yaroch noted the additional funds will support the entire region.“Under this funding formula all road agencies will receive more road money,” Yaroch said. “This will help address road issues sooner rather than later.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. In addition to the estimated $4.48 million for Macomb County’s road commission, some estimates of funding for local governments include Armada ($11,507), Center Line ($49,111), Eastpointe ($202,693), Fraser ($83,347), Memphis ($9,007), Mount Clemens ($102,595), New Baltimore ($70,131), New Haven ($28,887) Richmond ($34,969), Romeo ($20,614), Roseville ($313,027), St. Clair Shores ($377,851), Sterling Heights ($810,885), Utica ($29,299) and Warren ($924,337).The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes that provide more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###
Categories: Filler News 05Mar Rep. Filler says focus should be on lowering car insurance rates, not raising gas taxes State Rep. Graham Filler of DeWitt today issued the following statement after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her state budget proposal:“Michigan is No. 1 for all wrong reasons when it comes to the cost of driving, and the governor’s proposed 45-cent per gallon gas tax increase would make things even worse. It would force Michigan drivers to pay the highest gas taxes in the United States – and that’s not something we want to be known for.“Michigan drivers already pay the highest car insurance rates in the nation. Let’s work on lowering these rates first – before there’s any talk of asking drivers to pay even more at the pump.”###
25Apr Rep. Wendzel to host local coffee hour Categories: Wendzel News State Representative Pauline Wendzel announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during a morning coffee hour.The coffee hour will take place on Monday, April 29th at the Early Bird Eatery, 9735 Red Arrow Hwy in Bridgman from 10 to 11 a.m.“Last months ‘Pints with Pauline’ was a big hit,” Wendzel said. “I look forward to rotating morning and evening outreach events all over the district to speak with as many constituents as possible.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-1403 or email PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov.
Categories: Annette Glenn News Rep. Annette Glenn, of Midland, will hold a special town hall meeting on road funding on Thursday, June 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Midland County Road Commission, 2234 N. Meridian Road in Sanford. Special guest Rep. Jack O’Malley, chairman of the House Transportation Committee will be joining her.“The current shape of our roads and bridges in Michigan is unacceptable,” Glenn said. “This will be an opportunity for constituents in Bay and Midland counties to share your stories, feedback, and ideas with Chairman O’Malley and me, and a chance for us to explain our plan to fix our roads and bridges without raising taxes or taking funds away from schools or other taxpayer priorities. I look forward to seeing as many families, senior citizens, business owners, and other drivers there as possible.”Doors will open at 5:30, and discussion will occur from 6 to 7 p.m. with time allotted for questions. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.For more information, please contact Rep. Glenn’s office at (517) 373-1791 or AnnetteGlenn@house.mi.gov. 11Jun Rep. Glenn invites residents to town hall meeting on road funding
Share10TweetShare5Email15 SharesMOMS demand Gun Action / Edward KimmelJanuary 3, 2016; New York Times and Bangor Daily NewsWhile the big story about gun control this week has been the president’s administrative action, a more robust and persistent energy on the issue is developing at the state level.The Nonprofit Quarterly has featured many stories on the effect of large donations from well-known philanthropists on nonprofit organizations and the philanthropic community as a whole. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the gun control debate.In President Obama’s Tuesday morning press conference the President proposed a series of executive actions. The first would expand the businesses required to obtain a license and perform a background check on customers before selling a gun and make that background check more efficient. The second calls for stepping up the enforcement of gun laws. Finally, the president outlined measures to encourage individuals suffering from mental illness to access treatment and to limit their ability to access guns.Are his proposals meaningful? “He’s done what the administration can do,” says Liz Avore, the legal director for Everytown for Gun Safety. “But there is a lot more to be done [to reduce gun violence] and we need to look toward state and federal legislatures to take that action.”The shooting at Sandy Hook is one of the events that led to the creation of Everytown for Gun Safety in 2014 from the merger of two formidable grassroots groups, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. With the support of former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg—who pledged a total of $50 million of his own money—and others, Everytown has the potential to someday rival the power and funds of the NRA as it advocates for stricter gun laws.The amalgam has chapters in every state, has already won a number of state gun safety victories, and claims 3.5 million members as compared to the NRA’s claimed five million members. Moms Demand Action’s founder, Shannon Watts, says, “We have really been able to create boots on the ground, and that was always the NRA’s playbook.”The new entity has hired lobbyists in 31 states. One of its recent victories was in Virginia, where it contributed $1.5 million to a State Senate race. The result: a political novice with an “F” grade from the NRA, Jeremy McPike, was elected. (Nevertheless, NRA supporters won two other races, allowing Republicans who oppose gun control to maintain a majority.) Additionally, last month Virginia’s attorney general barred those with legal concealed-handgun permits from other states from legally carrying a gun in Virginia.Congress has not passed major gun legislation since the 1990s, but many states continue to expand gun control laws in their jurisdictions. Everytown’s president, John Feinblatt, compares the campaign to the same-sex marriage debate. That debate began in a small number of states; eventually, it moved to the Supreme Court in 2013 with the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act. The NRA, on the other hand, is mounting a full-scale battle. It raised more than $32.5 million in 2015 and has five million supporters focused on this one issue.—Gayle NelsonShare10TweetShare5Email15 Shares
Share2Tweet7Share3Email12 Shares“Rally to Save the American Dream.” Credit: Fibonacci BlueSeptember 4, 2017; NPRFor most workers, these are not good times. Jobs may be there but, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the majority has seen no real earnings growth for decades: “Over the…34-year period between 1979 and 2013, the hourly wages of middle-wage workers (median-wage workers who earned more than half the workforce but less than the other half) were stagnant, rising just 6 percent—less than 0.2 percent per year…The wages of low-wage workers fared even worse, falling 5 percent from 1979 to 2013.” Only the highest-paid workers experienced significant salary increases.Despite capturing the support of many hoping for change, the 2016 election and subsequent inauguration of President Trump did not bring pro-labor changes to government action or policy. Speaking to NPR, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that the president’s “promises in the campaign haven’t matched up with what he’s done.There’s been an assault by the president and his administration on regulations that protect workers in so many ways…Health and safety regulations that protect us from things like…beryllium and silica. Overtime regulations that would have brought overtime to 4 or 5 million people. Consumer protection regulations. Regulations on Wall Street. He’s done away with a number of those things.Labor seems so unimportant to the current administration that no Labor Day recognition can be found on the White House website.Americans seem to increasingly view unions as important to responding to this problem. The public’s view of unions has strengthened, reaching its highest positive level since 2003. In the most recent survey from Gallup, more than 60 percent of American adults approve of unions, and 39 percent would like them to become more influential—the highest number in the 18 years Gallup has been asking this question. Likewise, the 28 percent who want union power to decrease comes in at the fewest that Gallup has seen.While their image may be stronger, unions have also seen their power and membership wane. At the start of this year, organized labor represented only 10.7 percent of the workforce, compared with more than 20 percent in 1983. More than half the states now have open shop laws that limit union membership and influence. This is a trend that Americans expect to continue; according to the Gallup poll, despite strengthening public approval, the public predicts that the strong political forces arrayed in opposition to unions will cause them to further weaken in the coming years.Some workers saw Labor Day 2017 as a time to work to reverse this trend. Under the banner of Fight for $15, strikes, rallies and marches were held in 300 cities across the country to demand attention be paid to the worsening economic circumstances of low wage workers. In Memphis, organizers told WREG that the protest was “not just for $15 an hour, but for union rights in order to fix the economic and political systems in the U.S. that are rigged to benefit big corporations over working people.” Speaking to KHSB, Bridget Hughes, a fast-food worker and an organizer of the rally in Kansas City, Missouri, put the protest in the context of the long history of Labor Day: “Hundreds of years later, we are continuing that tradition and we’re striking out not only to demand $15 an hour, but union rights, protection and a voice in our job.”According to the U.S. Department of Labor website, Labor Day was established to recognize American workers’ essential contribution to bringing the nation “the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known.” In 2017, for many workers, the value of their contribution seems forgotten and devalued. What can change this picture?—Marty LevineShare2Tweet7Share3Email12 Shares
Share10Tweet29Share3Email42 SharesPixabay. Creative Commons 0. Public domain.November 14, 2017; CityLabNPQ has covered the development of sanctuary cities over the last two years. (Here, here, and here, as examples.) While sanctuary cities have a 40-year history, the intersection between increased data surveillance and the Trump administration’s racially biased practices have brought the movement to a new turn—the inclusion of data protection in an increasingly data-tracking world in what are being called “digital sanctuaries.”ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has been relying on city-collected and publicly available data—some of which has been found to be racially biased—for immigration enforcement purposes. CityLab’s Tanvi Misra writes,As the federal government increasingly relies on data from localities, some cities are developing protective policies that broaden the definition of “sanctuary.” While the term has long meant withholding some local cooperation for immigration enforcement, it is now starting to mean withholding some other data, too, to protect vulnerable communities—citizen and non-citizen—from the ever-growing surveillance dragnet. These policies seek to create what some advocates are calling “digital sanctuaries.” They aim to better define what data is gathered, by what means, and how it is used.[…]“Now cities are going to have to ask: What should we close? What should we segment? What should we purge? What should we put a time limit on? Says Greta Byrum, director of the Resilient Communities program at New America. “If they’re primary goal is to protect the rights of their residents, they may have to make different choices about what they do with the data.”Misra points out that there has been a rapid advancement of biometric technology over the last few decades and that it has been beta-tested on vulnerable communities, such as immigrants, poor people, and people of color. Beginning in the Obama administration, when an immigrant entered the US, they basically consented to being tracked. Under Trump, these practices have expanded from the borders to the interior of the country. Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, says, “Previously, your body wasn’t tracked unless you were arrested by the police.”In Trump’s January executive order, he announced that non-citizens would not benefit from federal laws on data sharing between agencies. In addition to the fears this induces about the DACA list (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), there are concerns about a new rule allowing the Department of Homeland Security to collect online information on immigrants, “including about their social media handles, connections, and search results.”Among the sources ICE can pull from are local law enforcement repositories, DMV and benefits records, license plate reader data, FBI criminal databases, and student visa records. They also have access to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) database—the controversial “Muslim registry” of the Bush era…Local police also have increasingly used new technologies like stingrays and social media analytical tools—often disproportionally in minority neighborhoods or against protesters.The Sunlight Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on how technology is used to increase equity and effective democratic participation, created a guide to help cities become digital sanctuaries. Some of the laws and proposals that build on the guide’s principles follow:Limit cooperation on federal terror agreements. Cities are not allowed to obstruct, but not required to assist.Eliminate gang databases. This is based on the principle of not creating specialized, personally-identifiable databases of vulnerable groups.Preemptively ban “Muslim” and other registries. Same principle described above about vulnerable groups.Purge municipal ID data. These are used by populations without documents, like immigrants, and people without homes; again, vulnerable populations.Publicly vet surveillance tools. Taxpayer money is used on these technologies, and the public has a right to know what they are and how they are used.Protect Internet privacy. This year, Congress changed Obama-era regulations that prevented service providers from storing search histories without their permission. The resultant detailed customer portraits have already had negative outcomes on vulnerable groups.Steven Renderos, organizing director at the Center for Media Justice, sums it up this way: “The broader point here is the Trump administration, when it comes to immigration enforcement, has been relying upon private companies to build the tools that they need. We need to be careful about what private companies are allowed and not allowed to do.”—Cyndi SuarezShare10Tweet29Share3Email42 Shares
France 5 is launching a Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) service. It will start today with the public broadcaster’s daily show C dans l’air transmitted using the HbbTV standard, according to Le Figaro. It will reach up to 2.5 million French viewers.
Pan-European broadcast group RTL has said that its European online and on-demand platforms collectively were up 25% year-on-year and topped 2.4 billion views of professionally produced content in 2012. Mobile views grew 58% to 118 million in Germany and 119% to 70.5 million in France.RTL said that its FremantleMedia unit is the highest rated TV producer on YouTube and that digital operations helped drive revenue growth of nearly 20% at the producer and distributor.FremantleMedia revenue for 2012 hit €1.71 billion, up 19.7% on 2011’s €1.42 billion, though earnings before interest, tax and amortisation dropped 3.5% to €138 million.RTL said Fremantle had registered 4.5 billion views across 101 channels on video-sharing site YouTube, which made it the “highest rated TV producer” on the platform.RTL Group also pointed to FremantleMedia’s strength in format production and distribution. Fox’s American Idol in the US and Britain’s Got Talent on ITV1 in the UK were key performing formats, along with local versions of The Farmer Wants a Wife in France, the Netherlands and Germany.Overall RTL Group revenue was €5.99bn, up 4% year-on-year. However, mirroring Fremantle, earnings were down. EBITA stood at €1.07 billion, compared with the €1.13 billion posted the previous year.Divisions driving growth besides Fremantle included its German operation, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, which saw revenue climb 3.7% to €1.91 billion and EBITA grow 1.6% to €27.7 million.Co-CEOs Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch said the results showed the company was well positioned to “develop a leading position in high-growth markets such as online video advertising”.“Our expertise in content and creativity has already proven to be a competitive advantage for the non-linear TV world as audiences are attracted by hit formats and established brands, across all screens and devices,” the added.
Discovery Networks is to launch its female-oriented lifestyle channel TLC in the UK and Ireland at the end of April. The channel will be carried by BSkyB and cable operator Virgin Media, as well as BT Vision and TalkTalk’s YouView platform.TLC will also be available in HD on the Sky and Virgin Media platforms and some programming will be made available on-demand on the Sky, Virgin Media and BT Vision platforms.Discover said it had invested “millions” in the launch of the UK channel, which will feature a range of stars including Holly Valance in Ultimate Shopper (pictured), Dawn O’Porter in Undercover Mums, Lisa Snowdon in Your Style In His Hands and Oprah Winfrey in Oprah’s Next Chapter. The channel will also launch US hit Here comes Honey Boo Boo in the UK.Susanna Dinnage, senior vice-president and general manager, Discovery Networks UK, said: “TLC is a unique entertainment channel that brings together a huge range of characters from the UK and US. It is full of stories that will get people talking and we hope it will become part of the rich and varied TV culture in the UK. It is unlike any other channel in the UK and will provide advertisers with an exciting new opportunity to target female audiences. The launch of TLC is another compelling reason for people to come to pay TV.”
Russian service provider Rostelecom is likely to adopt a new strategy focused on its fixed line business, including wireline broadband and TV, and to seek a partner for its mobile activities, according to local reports.Rostelecom president Sergey Kalugin told reporters on Friday that the fixed line business accounted for 90% of the group’s revenues and that it made sense to develop the mobile arm through a partnership.Kalugin also said that Rostelecom could look to acquire media companies, including online content aggregators and producers. Through its National Cable Networks subsidiary, Rostelecom already owns a limited number of TV channels.Rostelecom holds GSM and LTE wireless licences in a significant number of Russian regions. The operator has about 13.8 million mobile subscribers across the country, and has rolled out 3G services over the past year. Under the terms of its LTE licences, Rostelecom is obliged to roll out networks in five regions.Rostelecom could reportedly be seeking a partnership with Tele2 for its mobile services, possibly via a joint venture.Separately, Rostelecom is reportedly looking to invest US$26 million (€19 million) in building fibre-to-the-building networks in Armenia. The operator will build a GPON-based network via its GNC-Alfa subsidiary in 15 towns and cities across the country.
Liberty Global has selected Irdeto Rights to offer content security for the delivery of content to IP consumer devices.Irdeto will secure Liberty’s OTT service, which is available free to customers of its internet and TV packages, protecting linear and VoD content as a managed service through the cloud to IP devices.Liberty’s multiscreen offer is already live in Ireland and the Netherlands, with additional countries due to follow in the coming months.At the same time, Irdeto is working with Liberty Global to secure content over IP via the set-top-box video gateway.Irdeto Rights says it provides hardened security on a technology agnostic basis across different DRMs. Irdeto Rights is a core element of Irdeto Multiscreen, a suite of solutions launched at IBC 2013.
Ericsson has launched its MediaFirst Video Delivery solution – the latest addition to the Ericsson MediaFirst portfolio.Ericsson said the solution is a response to the “increased volumes of video traffic over operator networks”, with the release following the launch of Ericsson MediaFirst Video Processing at NAB earlier this year.The modular video distribution platform is designed to let service providers and broadcasters enhance the distribution of managed video services to mobile devices.The solution uses modern content delivery network (CDN) technology to deliver adaptive live TV, video on demand, cloud DVR and time shifted content.Ericsson said it enables IPTV, cable and mobile operators to “handle managed and unmanaged content by enhancing their network efficiencies and reducing associated costs.”“With ever increasing volumes of video traffic being consumed, operators require complete content visibility and control throughout the entire delivery chain in order to differentiate their multiscreen OTT services,” said Ericsson’s head of media delivery, Carlos Gonzalez.“Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 55% annually through to 2021, when it should account for over two-thirds of all mobile data traffic. This underlines the need for next-generation cloud based solutions to deliver a superior performance.”Ericsson launched the MediaFirst Video Delivery solution at the Broadcast Asia 2016 event in Singapore.
UK transmission services provider Arqiva has renewed multi-year contracts for capacity on two Eutelsat satellites.The Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat 10A and Eutelsat 7B are central to Arqiva’s European distribution capability.David Crawford, managing director for satellite and media at Arqiva, said: “Arqiva is dedicated to providing the very best service for our customers. This contract renewal with Eutelsat, combined with our award-winning teleports, will provide us with long term dedicated capacity for our Occasional Use business, enabling scale and service excellence.”Michel Azibert, chief commercial and development officer at Eutelsat, said: “We attach high value to our longstanding relationship with Arqiva and are proud that our professional video services, based on the premium European footprints of the Eutelsat 10A and 7B satellites, continue to meet the expectations of such a sophisticated media services company. Together, we work hard to add value to leading broadcasters, sports and news agencies and their audiences across many continents.”
Sports network Eleven Sports has secured the rights to show all UFC combat sports events live in Belgium and Luxembourg.In addition to 40 live events per year, Eleven Sports will also deliver more than 150 hours of additional content for fans including magazine review shows.The deal follows the multi-year agreement struck at the start of 2017 to show every Cage Warriors event across all of Eleven’s markets in Europe and Asia. The UFC shows will be available on the Eleven Sports 3 channel. On the web or via the Eleven Sports app.The move adds to Eleven’s existing portfolio of sports in the two countries, which includes La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 football as well as Euro Hockey League, Champions League Handball, Premier League Darts and the World Cup of Darts. Most recently, Eleven secured a five-year deal with the English Football League covering both countries, along with Poland.“We are committed to delivering world-class, premium sports entertainment for the fans and UFC – one of the biggest sporting organisations on the planet – certainly fits into that category. We’re delighted to add UFC to our growing MMA portfolio. The fans want thrilling, high-octane, adrenaline fueled live action featuring the biggest athletes and best insight and analysis. That is what they will get with Eleven Sports,” said Danny Menken, Group managing director, Eleven Sports.“Eleven Sports have shown they are committed to growing the sport of MMA and for this reason we believe they are a great partner for UFC. UFC has seen expediential growth in Europe in particular, with sell out events and an increasing fan base. We’re excited to partner with Eleven to bring more UFC content to the fans in Belgium and Luxembourg,” said Joe Carr, SVP, head of international and content at UFC.
UltraViolet, the initiative that gives users digital access to movies and TV series they’ve purchased, is due to shut down on July 31.According to information posted on the UltraViolet website, the move is due to “market factors” – including the emergence of content services separate to UltraViolet.“In most cases, your movies and TV shows will be available via the retailers linked to your UltraViolet Library at the time of UltraViolet shutdown,” said UltraViolet.“While there could be some disruption, we do not anticipate this on a broad scale and are working diligently to minimise and avoid such instances.”UltraViolet said it is working with UltraViolet retailers – which include services like Vudu, Flixster and Kaleidescape – to maximise users’ continued access to movies and TV shows.However, users’ UltraViolet Libraries will be automatically closed after UltraViolet shuts down.A consortium of film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) launched UltraViolet in the US and UK in 2011.UltraViolet users can redeem codes bundled with physical Blu-ray and DVD purchases to access the content digitally. The scheme was also designed to unify customers’ digital purchases in a single location.The scheme was supported by the likes of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, Lionsgate and NBCUniversal, but never gained the backing of Disney, which went its own way with its Disney Movies Anywhere service.Amazon, Google and Apple were also key players that did not join DECE or support UltraViolet.
Michael Ward, head of operations, WRN Broadcast, highlights the key factors to consider in choosing between satellite and fibre when approaching a new broadcast distribution project.All media companies have a distribution strategy but what factors influence your decision when it comes to international delivery? Is satellite the best option? Or does fibre offer the better solution?First, let’s consider the price of bandwidth. Via satellite this can represent a prohibitive cost. With long haul fibre the cost is the same whether it is 5Mbps or 50Mbps; however laying the fibre in the first place is expensive. As we see the number of under-sea fibres increase, the options open to broadcasters continue to grow.What about multiple-point distribution? Internationally this is something only really possible via satellite. Pool feeds of generic sports events for example are common. Cable headends in the US rely a lot on the satellite delivery of channels. It is possible for a feed to be made available at a fibre hub like the BT Tower, but that is often inaccessible to smaller organisations.Next, let’s look at service level. When it is critical, fibre has by far the better record in ensuring content arrives uninterrupted. Over a prolonged period, you can expect an overall uptime of no better than 99.7% via satellite (accounting for rain fade, jamming, solar and other interference), that does not include failure of ground based equipment. Meanwhile fibre is 99.95% and therefore much more in line with the SLAs we offer here at WRN Broadcast.However if an earthquake occurs on the fibre route or a trawler snags your under-sea fibre, the repair/down time is significantly longer than with spacecraft failures. So make sure you have a back up path. Try to employ two fibres on an auto-failover, whilst diverse routes and carriers will add to the resilience. Ad hoc feeds in particular benefit from diverse satellite and fibre routes, that way avoiding all single points of failure.The need to avoid delay could come into play. Live studio links can be hard work for the viewer if there is a long response time. In this instance fibre is preferable as the latency lower. For news links it is not always possible to employ fibre end to end, however many US news organisations use transatlantic fibres to bring in feeds from the Continent and Middle East which therefore involves only one satellite hop.Location, location, locationThe geography and politics of a country or region can dictate heavily the choice of delivery method. In South Africa there are few fibres so access is limited and very expensive. Fibres are scarce throughout the rest of Africa meaning that satellite is the preferred system for all kinds of TV content. The race is most definitely on to dig fibre into Africa.Fibre delivery is also very expensive in certain countries allowing some companies to maintain a stranglehold on pricing. Content delivery to and from remote or undeveloped areas is where satellite comes into its own. Satellite newsgathering will always have a place in the world of TV even if it is increasingly contribution related rather than delivery of the finished product.Overall, it’s horses for courses and media distribution companies that have both satellite and fibre at their disposal, such as WRN Broadcast, offer the highest guarantee of delivery and the most flexibility for their clients and suppliers.
colum eastwoodDerryEastwood calls for disclosure of Devenny filesFOYLE MLAMETROPOLITAN POLICErucSamuel DevennySDLPwilliam street ShareTweet “The families of all victims deserve access to truth, justice and accountability. Institutional attempts to deny or frustrate that should come to an end.“No further barriers should face the Devenny family in their campaign for truth. “These documents should be disclosed at the earliest possible opportunity,” added the SDLP leader.Eastwood calls for disclosure of Devenny files was last modified: July 17th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: SDLP leader Colum EastwoodSDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has called for the disclosure of files relating to the death of Samuel Devenny after he was attacked by RUC officers in 1969.The Foyle MLA said that the Devenny family should not have had to wait 50 years after an inquiry was conducted to access the information it holds. The Metropolitan Police has extended the closure on the Devenny files until 2022.Said Mr Eastwood: “The Devenny family have been waiting for almost 50 years for access to an inquiry report into Samuel’s death following an attack by RUC officers. “And even now, there’s no guarantee that further obstacles won’t be placed in their path as the date on which the report could be disclosed approaches. “The way this family has been treated is grossly insensitive and unfair but sadly it’s a common theme as the apparatus of the British State continues to resist disclosure of documents which could provide a degree of truth for victims.