With effect from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 EU mobile operators will again be obliged to lower retail prices for roaming calls in line with EU rules first introduced in 2007 and amended in 2009. Consumers opting for the EU-regulated "Eurotariff" will pay no more than 35 cents per minute for calls made and 11 cents per minute for calls received while abroad in the EU. This is the last in the series of regulated price cuts under the current EU Roaming Regulation, which expires end June 2012.
TechCamp Vilnius will be the third event in a series supporting Secretary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative to build the digital literacy of civil society organizations around the world. TechCamp is a key program of this initiative: a two day training event through which the State Department pairs leaders in the technology community with civil society organizations to provide training, resources and assistance that enable civil society organizations to harness the latest connection technologies to build their capacity and advance their missions.
From June 29-30, 2011 TechCamp Vilnius will focus on convening over 70 civil society groups working in the areas of democracy, transparency, and citizen engagement. Representing more than 15 countries from across Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, participants will get hands-on training in a variety of areas ranging from how to use social media, organize online, practice digital safety, leverage mobile applications, and more. These civil society groups will be poised to use connection technologies to grow their networks, communicate more efficiently and be able to keep pace with the changing world.
Announcing Civil Society 2.0, Secretary Clinton said, “This organized effort will provide new technologies to civil society organizations. We will send experts in digital technology and communications to help build capacity.”
TechCamp will be hosted on the margins of the Community of Democracies, and will send an important message about our commitment and support for democracy and 21st Century Statecraft. As these tools build new networks, relationships and create new avenues for communication, civil societies’ adoption of them and use in support of democracy, transparency and good governance are integral to moving forward in the 21st century.
Following Vilnius there is a TechCamp planned in Moldova in July focusing on open government. For more information about Civil Society 2.0, TechCamps or hosting a future TechCamp, visit www.techcampglobal.org or contact Katie Dowd, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A campaign has been launched to help people avoid breaking the law when they post pictures, music and videos online. Copyright group Creative Commons has published a guide to identifying material that can be used freely without getting sued. It is also advises individuals how to protect content they have made themselves. Some legal experts say that the system is a stop-gap measure and want to see copyright laws radically reformed. Around 500 million pieces of work are currently covered by Creative Commons. The free-to-use legal licenses add a range of protections to content. At one end of the scale, a rights holder can chose to share their property with anyone, and let them do what they like with it. Stricter versions of the licences protect material from being manipulated or used for commercial purposes. Creative Commons' chief of staff, Lisa Green said that the campaign was partly aimed at combating the myth that it supported "giving everything away for free". "Rather than giving away, mostly we talk about enabling legal sharing and enabling remix," she said. While many legal observers have praised the efforts of Creative Commons to make copyright more accessible, they point out that the system is not without its flaws. Creative Commons has also been criticised as a system which masquerades as creating a common pool of content, while leaving individual rights holders the ability to alter the terms of sharing at will.
T-Mobile Czech Republic has completed its latest 3G expansion, rolling out advanced services to an additional 26 cities and 63 municipalities this month, to boost its coverage to 50.33% of the population. The latest deployment has allowed the cellco to offer improved data speeds in Litomerice, Havlickuv Brod, Vyskov, Benesov, Cesky Krumlov and Usti nad Orlici. To support the rollout T-Mobile has also installed a number of transmitters in other areas as part of its cooperation agreement with fellow operator Telefonica O2 CR, signed in February. The aim of the six-year 3G network sharing deal is to bring mobile internet services to as many people as possible and in the shortest timeframe.
Serbia’s Minister of Economy and Regional Affairs, Nebojsa Ciric announced on Tuesday that Telekom Srbija would not be privatised by the current government. The initial plans for privatisation have been cancelled as the only interested party, Telekom Austria, did not meet the Serbian government’s minimum price of EUR1.4 billion (USD2.015 billion) for a 51% share in the national telco. Instead it is to become an open joint stock company. According to local paper Tanjug, free shares will be provided to its employees and those of the Posta Srbije. The transformation is to take place over the summer of 2011, with the free shares distributed by September. The remaining shares will be traded at the Belgrade stock exchange.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of December 2010 Telekom Srbija had three million active fixed lines