BT Openreach prepares to declare UK MBORCed* as all new phone line installations halted over coronavirus. Alex Tofts of comparison site Broadband Genie opined: "Under the circumstances, it's understandable that Openreach is halting engineer visits, it will help protect both their staff and customers. It's reassuring that the most vulnerable customers will still be given support to get online, but if you don't fall into that category you may need to be prepared for an extended outage, or a delay in having a new broadband service or phone line installed. "That said, the safety of our people and the public is come first and, based on the new guidance, we’re now prioritising essential work. "That means we're focussing on the repair and maintenance of connections that support critical national infrastructure, essential public services, vulnerable customers and those without service. And our CP customers are helping us to identify and prioritise these groups. "We've also advised our engineers to avoid entering customer premises. A large amount of our work we do can be completed outside, and we can often fix problems without entering a customer's property – so we're advising them not to complete any work inside a property unless it would leave a vulnerable customer with no form of connection, and it's not possible to provide one by any other means."
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The tension between the media and technology industries has long been characterized as a fight for users’ attention. The advertising technology giants Facebook Inc. and Google have turned that into a $200 billion-a-year business. Facebook’s particular vector for securing users’ attention is connecting them with others, and in the era of self-isolation digital connections have become a lifeline. Twitter Inc. has also scrapped its earnings outlook for the first quarter. So Facebook’s announcement on Tuesday that its business was being “adversely affected” because of a “weakening in our ads business” shouldn’t have come as a big surprise.
Following temporarily closures within China, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has reopened all of its retail stores within the Middle Kingdom, as that country has made meaningful progress in containing the novel coronavirus. As the disease spread throughout other countries, Apple had closed all stores outside of China on March 13, with the timeline for reopening in flux because the crisis evolves every day. Apple Stores to reopen "on a staggered basis" This week, Bloomberg reported that the Mac maker is optimistic that some stores may be able to reopen next month "on a staggered basis," citing an internal memo from Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O'Brien. The crisis is unfolding in differing ways across countries as governments adopt varying measures and populations respond differently to the pandemic. Some stores could open as soon as the first half of April "depending on the conditions in their community," O'Brien reportedly wrote. The Cupertino tech giant operates 458 retail stores outside of its Greater China geographical segment.
Do FTSE 100 stocks Lloyds, BT and Barratt offer good value for money? The falls in FTSE 100 shares Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) (LLOY.L), BT Group (LON:BT.A) (BT.A.L) and Barratt Developments plc (LON:BDEV) (BDEV.L) have been very fast and very large in the past few weeks. For instance, the Lloyds share price is down from 63p at the start of the year to 33p today. People are unlikely to buy new homes in my view – even once the lockdown is lifted, as there could be real concern about job losses and a recession. But Barratt’s financial position and its net cash pile mean that I think it has long-term recovery potential. At the moment, I’m not finding it difficult to find undervalued shares on a long-term view. Therefore, with BT forecast to post disappointing levels of profit growth over the next couple of years even before C19’s outbreak, I think there are better opportunities for me elsewhere.
Supermarket opening times for elderly shoppers: when Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and others are open for over-70s during coronavirus lockdown. With the UK in lockdown, supermarkets are still seeing their shelves being cleared out faster than they get restock them, due to panicked shoppers attempting to stockpile items – in order to ensure elderly and vulnerable shoppers have access to the essential items they need, supermarkets have implemented special measures. Tesco has closed all of its 24-hour stores between the hours of 10pm and 6am, in order to help workers fully stock the shelves for customers. Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “We will also help the elderly and vulnerable customers access food online.
‘Heartless’ BT Sport criticised by MP amid confusion over TV options. BT Sport are accused of being 'heartless' by an MP after failing to pause its subscriptions despite being unable to show live sport, including MotoGP. BT Sport has been accused of attempting to ‘profit’ from customers by only offering opportunities to amend its television packages to those with flexible accounts.MotoGP, which is televised to UK audiences through its services, is one of the many sports that has been affected by the coronavirus crisis, creating a headache for broadcasters who have sold packages calculated to the exclusive rights it offers. However, while Sky has moved to pause their subscriptions automatically – including its Sky Sports packages – until the crisis has abated, BT Sport has run into controversy for only allowing those with a Flexible deal to switch to another television pack. “Alternatively customers on our new flexible TV package can pause their Sport subscription and switch to a different pack should they wish – more details can be found on bt.com/tv.”With no live sport to show, BT Sport – which has packages ranging from £15 to £60 a month for two years - says it is working hard to revise its schedule with the content it already has, though its statement neglects to say where MotoGP fits into this.
Debroop Roy March 25, 2020 Social networking giant Facebook is in talks to buy a multi-billion stake in Indian conglomerate Reliance’s telecommunications arm Jio, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the Menlo Park, California-based company is close to signing a preliminary deal for a 10 per cent share in the telecom company that disrupted how India uses the internet by providing access to cheap data and smartphones. Jio has managed to garner a whopping 370 million subscribers since its 2016 launch and the potential deal will give Facebook, which owns messaging service WhatsApp, greater and deeper access into what continues to be an untapped market with millions of new smartphone users. WhatsApp recently announced that it had 2 billion users across the globe and according to earlier disclosures, has more than 400 million users in India alone. Chairman Mukesh Ambani laid out the plans to be net-debt free at the company’s annual general meeting last year, and has since announced deals with Saudi Aramco to sell a 20 per cent stake in its oil and chemicals business, and with London-headquartered BP to sell a 49 per cent stake in its petrol pumps and aviation fuel business.
Benzinga is covering every angle of how the coronavirus affects the financial world. For daily updates, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter. Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates has issued a sharp admonishment to those who suggest reopening the economy amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 'Rarin’ To Go By Easter'. Although Gates did not name names, President Donald Trump has floated suggestions he may relax some social distancing guidelines to kickstart the economy. In a town hall event hosted by Fox News, Trump remarked, “It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this.
Google Gives 60-Day Extension To All Contractors Due To Pandemic. Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google LLC has granted a 60-day extension to all its contractors in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, CNBC reported Tuesday. All contracts which were set to expire between March 20 and May 15 this year would be automatically extended for 60 days from the date they were otherwise set to expire, an internal memo seen by CNBC said. The internet services behemoth has also said that it will pay full pay to hourly workers irrespective of the hours they are required to work during the pandemic. As noted by CNBC, a number of temporary workers have complained that they are being asked to come to work irrespective of the mandate.
Xbox and PlayStation networks adjusted due to surging demand. As internet usage around the world soars due to the effects of the coronavirus, tech companies are taking steps to ensure their services remain as unaffected as possible. In a statement sent to Engadget, Xbox product services corporate vice president Dave McCarthy said the company is "actively monitoring usage and making temporary adjustments as needed to ensure the smoothest possible experience for our gamers." Meanwhile, in a blog post, Sony CEO Jim Ryan said that PlayStation was doing its bit to "address internet stability concerns," noting that players in Europe may "may experience somewhat slower or delayed game downloads but will still enjoy robust gameplay." These are unprecedented times for the tech industry, and with more people working from home or turning to the internet during periods of isolation, bandwidth is being stretched. Some companies, such as mobile carriers Verizon and T-Mobile, have been granted temporary freedoms to help deal with soaring demand. Others, such as Netflix and YouTube, have pared back its services to help ease congestion.