a man and three women stand holding internet equipment

Radio: German villagers build their own high speed internet

The following report aired originally on CBC radio’s weekend newscast The World This Weekend, on November 1, 2014. It is a radio version of a story I reported for The Local Germany. Canada is one of the world’s most wired countries, but some rural areas are still waiting to get high speed internet. They may …

Villagers expand self-built broadband network

Shunned by government and big telecom companies, a group of villagers in rural northwest Germany is set to expand the super-fast internet network they built to a second village. The Local’s Tomas Urbina went to meet the villagers as they prepare to put shovels in the ground. On a Thursday evening in August, about half …

Opinion: In defence of Uber – Three reasons it beats taxis

Uber has quickly become the most contentious technology company in Germany, challenging the taxi establishment as well as regulators across the country, as attempts to ban the chauffeur app leap from the municipal to the national stage. The following is an excerpt of an opinion piece I pitched and edited for The Local Germany. As …

Europe’s biggest tech show debuts in Berlin

Bendable televisions, a smartphone with an edge and the smart home that takes care of you — the IFA consumer electronics show burst onto Berlin’s exhibition grounds on Friday. Crowds poured into the brand new City Cube Berlin to ogle the latest offerings from global electronics giant Samsung. With the new building all to themselves, …

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure

Home to two-thirds of Germany’s population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local’s Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums. It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon and the downtown promenades in Delmenhorst, …

Berlin seniors take on Swedish property giant Akelius

Some came with canes, some with walkers, but they all came ready for a fight. On Monday afternoon, elderly residents of the apartment block at Hansa-Ufer 5 gathered for a tenants meeting in the modest common room on the ground floor of the building on the banks of the Spree River. In Berlin, it’s a …

How much money do banks make off student loans?

Note: This article originally appeared on OpenFile Montreal, to which this blog post linked for the full text. Since September 2012 OpenFile’s website has been “on hiatus” and the news organization shut down due to financial insolvency. Therefore, the full text of article is now posted below. Mel Lefebvre was on the way to starting …