08Jun Professor to Glenn, panel: Energy Freedom plan is a first step toward lower rates Categories: Glenn News,News A Hillsdale College professor this week said the bipartisan five-bill Energy Freedom plan is a good start to lowering electric rates in Michigan, and suggested that the House Energy Policy Committee work to separate the entities that generate electricity and distribute it to ratepayers.Dr. Gary Wolfram, the William E. Simon professor of economics and public policy and director of economics at Hillsdale College, testified before the panel to discuss rate reduction through system separation.“Let’s say you had all your food delivered to your house by the Acme Food Company, and they also owned the roads to your house,” Wolfram said. “If another company also sold food, why would Acme ever let another company use their roads to deliver food to you? That would not be in their best interest.”Rep. Glenn, chair of the committee, is sponsor of the lead bill in the plan to provide more energy freedom to people who create their own energy, and require utilities to pay as much to a private energy generator as they charge to supply power to homes. Recently the Michigan Public Service Commission ended that practice, referred to as net metering, and authorized DTE and Consumers Energy to pay about half of the rates they charge when buying back surplus energy created by private solar or wind generators.Wolfram continually stressed that utilities do not act in the best interest of the public, but rather operate in their personal self-interest.“After separation, companies that generate electricity will have direct access to customers, so we would expect more innovation in the generation of electric power,” Wolfram said. “This will happen since independent generators that can produce electricity at low cost will be able to earn profit and expand their customer base.“Thus, the next step, in Michigan at least, is to separate distribution from generation, thus creating an ‘open access’ market for the production of electricity,” Wolfram said.Rep. Glenn said the House plan creates community renewable energy gardens, lifts the cap on renewable generation and creates “microgrids” that can supply a community or neighborhood with power during a power outage.“Dr. Wolfram’s testimony will help us develop additional plans to enable more people to have energy freedom,” Rep. Glenn said.The committee is still considering House Bills 5861-5865.##### Separating distributor and generator should be goal
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has launched Hemtelefon i Mobilen (Home Phone-Mobile), an app that can be installed on Android phones and iPhones that enables fixed phone calls to be received on mobiles.The service allows up to five mobile phones to be connected to the same home phone number. The app also enables Com Hem customers to benefit from lower call-rates from mobile phones at home, outside the home or internationally via WiFi.The app is avaialble free of charge from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Seventy percent of UK viewers aren’t satisfied with the TV and video content they currently have access to, despite spending an average of £47 per month on TV, movie and video subscription services.This is according to research by Amdocs, which found that in order to access the TV shows, films and live sports they want to watch on a regular basis, viewers believe they would need to increase the amount they’re currently spending up to £74 (€84) per month or £888 per year.“We are in a golden age of content, with massive investment in original programming and new ways to consume it. But customers are still having to jump between TV applications and content providers to find the programming they want,” says Amdocs CMO, Gary Miles.“This is confusing and frustrating. Furthermore, the monetisation model varies a lot by service provider, but clearly we are entering an age of three primary models: pay per view; ad-funded; and subscription.”Amdocs found that the average UK consumer uses two TV subscription services, with 68% of UK respondents claiming they would be prepared to pay for a single provider that could package all their preferred content in a dedicated bundle. Some 64% said that they would be happy to ditch their current providers if this type of ‘perfect content bundle’ was available.The research is based on a survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, which sampled 1,000 UK viewers to gauge their attitudes towards TV subscription services, payments, and advertising. Amdocs is a provider of software and services to communications and media companies.
BeoutQ, the allegedly Saudia Arabia-backed pirate TV network, has been slammed by members of the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee.In a parliamentary session on May 10, Jeremy Wright QC, DCMS secretary of state, responded to a question from Giles Watling MP, confirming that a number of UK government departments are “pursuing this matter” and that “the [UK] embassy in Riyadh is speaking to the Saudis on this subject”. BeoutQ has gained notoriety since its launch in 2017 for pirating hundreds of live sports events including the NFL SuperBowl, and English Premier League. “If we want to see good quality sport, we have to make sure that people are able to protect those rights so they can carry on delivering it to us; and those that are seeking to undermine those rights of course undermine that process,” Wright continued. “So that’s why we take an interest, it’s why we understand and sympathise with the concerns the Premier League and others have expressed and as I say there is activity underway.”UK networks, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, have all seen their content pirated by the network.The Chairman of the DCMS Committee, Mr Damian Collins MP, added to the discussion, saying that “the issue of beoutQ is straightforward piracy” and went on to question whether the Government was taking appropriate independent action by adding, “I’d be slightly concerned if our interest in this issue, and addressing it, is being balanced with other trade interests in the region”. The topic of beoutQ was first brought up in Parliament in April, with Alistair Carmichael MP, the former secretary of state for Scotland arguing that “[beoutQ’s] piracy is widespread across FIFA, UEFA, AFC, Premier League, LaLiga, and the Bundesliga; and the Government have got to work with intellectual property holders to protect sports. The Government have got to challenge their friends in Saudi Arabia and get them to take more action to protect the future of the sports and entertainment industries, and ensure that the football teams which we all love can continue to thrive.”Yousef Al-Obaidly, CEO of beIN media group which has been one of the largest victims of beoutQ’s piracy in the Gulf region, said: “This latest development in the global fight against beoutQ is hugely significant, as it represents a critically important call from a Parliamentary Committee of MPs for the UK Government to intervene with the Saudi Government to stop the continued daily theft of valuable UK brands.”