Tiscali


Tiscali

Infobox_Company
company_name = Tiscali SpA
company_
company_type = Società per Azioni (SpA)
company_slogan = "Internet with a Passion"
foundation = January 1998
location = Cagliari, Italy
key_people = Vittorio Serafino (chairman), Mario Rosso (CEO), Renato Soru (Founder)
num_employees =
industry = Communications and Media
products = Communications
revenue = 678,481,000 [http://investors.tiscali.com/tiscali/KeyFigures/threeyear.jsp?cat=3&lang= as of 2006]
homepage = [http://www.tiscali.com tiscali.com]

Tiscali SpA (ISE|IT0001453924|TIS) is a European telecommunications company, based in Cagliari, Italy, and provides internet and telecommunications services to Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic. The company acquired many European Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throughout the late 1990s, although in subsequent years many of those assets were sold on to other companies.

Formation

Tiscali was formed in 1998 when the Italian telecommunications market was deregulated. Its name is formed from a 2000 year old village situated in Sardinia [ [http://www.tiscali.com/about_us/our/ Tiscali - Our History] ] . The company's original priority was internet access, which enabled the company to expand quickly during the dot-com boom. The company acquired, in quick succession, World Online (The Netherlands), Liberty Surf (France) and LineOne (UK), instantly giving it market presence in those countries. This made it the third largest Internet Service Provider in Europe, with presence in most European countries. Its founder, Renato Soru, was elected governor of Sardinia in 2004.

Products

thumb|right|170px|European countries of Tiscali SpA operation:">legend|#8080FF|Tiscali name used, but no wholly-owned serviceEach of Tiscali's regional companies offer many services, which may include:

Internet access

Tiscali provides broadband internet access. In the United Kingdom, the company provides speeds of up to 8 Mbit/s speed broadband with limited and 'unlimited' download allowances [ [http://www.chooseisp.co.uk/broadband-guide/articles/is-tiscali-broadband-any-good.html TISCALI BROADBAND | Is Tiscali Broadband Any Good? ] ] .Note that 'unlimited' is a product name for marketing purposes, actual usage is restricted by "Fair Usage Policy" [ [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/legal/fair-usage-policy/ Tiscali - Fair usage policy ] ] .

Telephone

In addition to ISP services, Tiscali offers telephone services.

Television

In certain parts of the UK (generally large areas such as London, Manchester etc), Tiscali UK operates an IPTV television service, Tiscali TV, previously known as Homechoice. Tiscali acquired the business in 2006 as a result of a merger with Homechoice's parent company, Video Networks. Tiscali TV is a triple-play service offering telephone, IPTV and Internet access packages ("see below"). As a telephony, internet and television provider, Tiscali's proposition represents an example of telecommunication convergence.

Network services

Tiscali's Carrier Company, Tiscali International Network (TINET), is a pure play carrier business delivering wholesale services such as Global IP Connectivity, MPLS lines, Voice over IP and Network Monitoring [ [http://www.tiscali.net Tiscali Network] ] . Since Aug 2007 TINET's IP/MPLS backbone counts 90 POPs and extends over 17 European countries and across the United States and Hong Kong. Its Autonomous Systems (AS3257) is a core ASN in the global Internet routing table, as well as the largest IPv6 backbone outside Asia.(source : CAIDA)

Web portal

Tiscali runs similar web portals for each of its countries, which include features such as webmail, reviews, news, videos, dating, chat, radio, TV guide, streaming TV channels and others.

Tiscali 10.0

Tiscali 10.0 was Tiscali's integrated self-branded web browser, which was distributed with its dial-up Internet packages. It was produced by UltraBrowser Inc, and used Microsoft's Internet Explorer Trident rendering engine to display web pages. Since Tiscali's corporate re-branding exercise in 2004, the software has not been included in broadband installation packs as it features Tiscali's original logo and design layout, and generally was designed for those with dial-up packages. Its version number was matched to that of UltraBrowser's most recent version of their own browser.

ale of sub-companies

Starting in 2004, Tiscali sold off many of its regional sub-companies to native telecommunications operators in order to focus more on prime target areas.

*On 16 August 2004, Tiscali disposed of its Austrian branch, Tiscali Österreich GmbH, to Nextra Telecom GmbH.
*On 20 August 2004, Tiscali disposed of its South African branch, Tiscali (Pty), to MWEB Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
*On 23 August 2004, Tiscali disposed of its Norwegian branch, Tiscali AS, to Telenor Telecom Solutions AS
*On 30 August 2004, Tiscali disposed of its Swedish counterpart, Tiscali AB, to Spray Network AB, a subsidiary of Lycos.
*On 16 September 2004, Tiscali disposed of its Swiss counterpart, Tiscali AG, reaching an agreement with Smart Telecom AG.
*On 19 October 2004, Tiscali sold its South African mobile telephone network, Tiscali Mobile, to Vodacom.
*On 29 November 2004, Tiscali disposed of its Belgian subsidiary, Tiscali N.V, reaching an agreement with Scarlet Belgie Holding B.V [ [http://www.tiscali.com/about/our/milestones/fde171b2a4.html Tiscali - 2004 milestones] ]
*On 1 February 2005, Tiscali sold its Danish company, Tiscali Denmark A/S, to Tele2 A/S.
*On 5 May 2005, Tiscali sold the French ISP, Liberty Surf to Telecom Italia [ [http://www.tiscali.com/about/our/milestones/1052a0748b2.html Tiscali - 2005 milestones] ]
*On 31 January 2007, Tiscali disposed of its German business to consumer activities to Freenet.de AG, at a sum of €30 million. [ [http://www.tiscali.com/our_news/press/110ca219c98.html Tiscali - Disposal of B2C activities in Germany] ] . It later sold its business to business transactions on 5 February 2007 to Ecotel Communication AG, with future intentions to leave the German market altogether [ [http://www.tiscali.com/our_news/press/110ca5dc581.html Tiscali - Disposal of B2B activities in Germany] ] .
*On 19 June 2007, Tiscali disposed of its Dutch branch, Tiscali BV, to Royal KPN NV [ [http://www.tiscali.com/our_news/press/113629f88d9.html Tiscali disposes of Netherlands branch] ]

On October 11 2006, Tiscali announced that it was to focus on the UK and Italy as its prime ISP targets, with plans to introduce new services to them including a mobile network operator and new IPTV products to the United Kingdom by its acquisition of Homechoice [ [http://www.telecom.paper.nl/news/article.aspx?id=144395&nr= Telecom Paper - Tiscali to focus on UK, Italy; plans net profit from 2008] ] . It is not known what will happen to its other remaining regional sub-companies.

Criticisms of Tiscali UK

Limited Usage

Although Tiscali UK offers unlimited broadband packages, the company has been known to restrict individual usage. Tiscali UK customers must comply with a [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/products/broadband/fair-usage-policy.html?code=ZZ-NL-11XY Fair Usage Policy] , intended to reduce the bandwidth required by the hosts. As a result, users who frequently use a considerable amount of bandwidth are warned about excessive usage and, if it continues, may have their usage "capped" during peak times (usually between 6pm and 11pm depending on which regional company provides the service). [ [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/products/broadband/fair-usage-policy.html?code=ZZ-NL-11XY Tiscali's fair usage policy] ]

P2P Blocking

Critics claim Tiscali UK limits peer-to-peer traffic, FTP, and Gaming ports such as 27960. They also claim it can be impossible to connect to P2P programs using Tiscali UK. [ [http://www.broadband-help.com/providers/reviews/?id=97&showall=1 Broadband-Help.com - Tiscali reviews] ]

Greatest Number of Complaints

The British website [http://www.ispreview.co.uk/ ISPreviewUK] cites the UK arm of Tiscali as consistently receiving the greatest number of complaints each week, the most significant issue to users being very poor support. [ [http://www.ispreview.co.uk/new/complain/complain.shtml ISP Review - Reader ISP Complaints] ]

2007 UK email outage

In May 2007, spammers managed to send volumes of spam email from Tiscali's free webmail service. [cite web|url=http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39287286,00.htm|title=Tiscali scrambles to tackle spam|accessdate=2007-06-02|date=2007-05-30|last=Meyer|first=David|publisher=ZDNet] This resulted in the blacklisting of emails sent to ISPs from Tiscali, due to the large number of spam being sent from the webmail addresses.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6704003.stm|title=Tiscali e-mail 'hit' by spammers|accessdate=2007-06-02|date=2007-05-30|publisher=BBC News] Tiscali responded by blocking the accounts of the spammers and placed new hardware in place to prevent the problem recurring. [cite web|url=http://www.computing.co.uk/vnunet/news/2191233/tiscali-email-shutout-blamed|title=Tiscali blames spammers for email outage|accessdate=2007-06-02|date=2007-06-01|last=Williams|first=Ian|publisher=Computing]

However, Tiscali have stated that customers will not be compensated for the outage, because email is a free service as part of a customers Internet package.cite web|url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/01/tiscali_email_spam_doubts/|title=Tiscali locks down contracts after email disaster|accessdate=2007-06-02|date=2007-06-01|last=Williams|first=Chris|publisher=The Register] UK Internet trade association, the Internet Service Providers Association has registered a higher number of complaints due to the outage and the issue has been referred to arbitration service, CISAS.

Ratings

According to http://www.dslzoneuk.net which invites users to rate their broadband provider, Tiscali have a score of 4.38/10 (21/06/2008) which rates them 25th out of 29 ISPs

Recent acquisitions

Video Networks Limited

On 14 August 2006, Tiscali UK completed a merger with competing telecommunications provider, Video Networks Limited (VNL) [http://www.tiscali.com/our_news/press/10d178ea6ba.html Tiscali - Tiscali and Video Networks: integration in the UK market] ] . VNL operated the triple-play London media company, Homechoice, which offered IPTV, telephone packages and Internet access to users in the London area. It was later confirmed that the merged company was to drop the brandname "Homechoice" for "Tiscali", as it was nationally known name, whereas Homechoice only operates in London. Video Networks received an 11.5% stake of Tiscali UK, in exchange for Tiscali gaining 100% control of Home Choice. [ [http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1844893,00.html?gusrc=ticker-103704 MediaGuardian - Tiscali drops Home Choice branding (free subscription required)] ] . The merged company is estimated to have 1.3 million customers in the UK. On 1 March 2007, the Homechoice name was replaced with Tiscali TV, and expects to extend its network to reach 10 million homes in 2008. Parts of Northern England and Scotland were added to Tiscali TV's coverage footprint in mid-2007. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cable/a42437/tiscali-tv-to-launch-march-1.html Digital Spy - Tiscali TV to launch March 1] ] .

Pipex

On 13 July 2007, Tiscali UK acquired the consumer broadband and voice businesses of the British competitor, Pipex Communications, at a sum of £210 million. Tiscali estimates that the deal increased its customer base in the UK up to 1.9 million. [ [http://investors.tiscali.com/tiscali/uploads/press/Tiscali_Pipex_13July07_ENG.pdf Tiscali - Tiscali to acquire Pipex Broadband] (not for distribution in the United States) ]

Since Tiscali began to migrate Pipex customers to their network there have been reports of major disruptions. Many customers have experienced disconnections from the Internet varying from a few minutes to many hours or days. [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/28/tiscali_pipex_migrations/]

Also, there are continuing reports of billing issues for migrating customers and there is a belief amongst some high usage Pipex customers that they are receiving a less than satisfactory service post-migration. [ [http://www.pipexproblems.co.uk/ Pipex & Tiscali Problems :: All about why we have Pipex Problems. (And now Tiscali ones.) ] ]

ee also

*Tiscali TV
*Tiscali International Network
*Net Neutrality
*Traffic shaping

References

External links

* [http://www.tiscali.com/ Tiscali Corporate Web Site]
* [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/ Tiscali Web Portal (English UK)]
* [http://www.tiscali.net/ Tiscali International Network]
* [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/legal/fair-usage-policy/ Fair Usage Policy]
* [http://www.homechoice.co.uk/ Homechoice]


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